K is for Potassium
This is Mark McClatchey. Mark is one of two STEM teachers here at Dumfries and Galloway Council. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.
Mark's role is to deliver lessons all about this fascinating area of the curriculum and build the skills and knowledge of both primary pupils and fellow teachers - held at The Bridge in Dumfries, Stranraer College or in primary schools themselves.
How does Mark do this? By using innovative technology and interactive challenges matched by his incredible enthusiasm for teaching, his passion for problem solving and technology, and his lust to support learners to use STEM to build skills needed for the future.
Think Lego - used to learn about coding.
K'nex - used to learn about civil engineering.
Fire starting - (using flint and steel) used to learn about chemical changes.
Robots - used to learn about mathematics.
Imagine being in primary school and knowing you get to play with Lego, K'nex, Fire and Robots - THAT is exciting.
Mark generates creative atmospheres where there is no such thing as a silly question - just learning through exploration, trial and error, in these region-wide programmes and sessions.
Think BIG, think FUN, and think ENGAGING.
Best part of the job? "I love the reactions of the learners, watching them become engaged and excited about STEM. I love the 'Oohs' and 'aahs' you get from the learners - they can't believe it when I create fire in class to explain chemical change. I love the excitement from learners when a robot kicks a ball purely because they have successfully programmed it to do so, using coding software. I have always been interested in science and technology, so being able to bring it to life using the fantastic resources we have - in such an inclusive and interactive way - brings me endless job satisfaction. I wish learners understood the impact they make on their teachers; they truly inspire us every day."
Mark, you create our next world leading scientists, expand the minds of mathematicians, and inspire our future engineers. You create excitement in class, encourage out of the box thinking, promote working as a team and bring the world of STEM alive to all the learners and fellow teachers around you. The future looks brighter, more interesting, and technologically creative thanks to you.
Thank you from all the minds you expand every day.