Mark Hannum

Mark Hannum

Neuroscience Lab Director

Thomas Jefferson School of Science and Technology

Alexandria, VA USA

Fear of the unknown is innate to humans; it's never going to go away. But you just have to kind of accept it and take that jump off the cliff.


By Roadtrip Nation

Mark Hannum


My road in life took a while to figure out.
He was a math and physics double major and he was ready to enter the research field and become a professor.
One day, his advisor showed him an article that said that each American state only gains one new degreed physics teacher each year.
He decided, "Okay, I should devote some of my life to teaching these kids."
Before that, he and his wife decided that they wanted to go explore Europe, and he got a job teaching in Austria.
That job gave him some time to learn the craft of teaching and mature as a person and as a teacher.
Afterwards, he returned to the U.S. to fulfill his goal of teaching physics; now runs a lab at one of the best public high schools in the country.
He always had his teaching goals in the back of his mind, but he never let those prevent him from pursuing big opportunities, like going to Europe.
He loves his work because the human brain contains so much mystery, and it's amazing to pass along that sense of wonder to his students.
Keep following my journey


Neuroscience Lab Director

I run a neuroscience research lab for high school students where we work on understanding neurological disorders.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Teaching / Mentoring

Day to Day

Teaching is never the same day twice. I work with students to improve their skills and prepare them for life beyond high school. As head of the lab, I focus my lesson plans on three areas of neuroscience: behavioral, computational, and fundamentals. I spend a lot of time designing projects and experiments for my students that will help them learn these aspects of neuroscience.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for college students

It's important to set goals, but you have to be willing to jump into the unknown. Allow yourself to do things that interest you even if they aren't apart of the "plan."


The Noise I Shed

From Society in General:

"Why would you teach instead of going to grad school? "