Brad McLain

Research Scientist, Co-Director Experiential Science Education Research Collaborative, University of Colorado, Boulder


Brad McLain is a social scientist and co-directs the Experiential Science Education Research Collaborative (XSci) at CU Boulder. Dr. McLain’s research focuses on identity development in relation to STEM learning and career pathways, including the nature and impacts of extraordinary experiences and how such experiences may change our sense of self and life trajectories at different ages. McLain has served as Principal Investigator on several research and project grants funded by both government and corporate entities. He also has extensive experience in informal science education and formal science education and teacher professional development. Dr. McLain is also a research scientist with the National Center for Women & IT, participating in research, resources and strategies that organizations can use towards diversification and inclusion in workplace environments. Prior, Dr. McLain was an assistant professor of Education at the University of Colorado Denver, an educational researcher at the Space Science Institute, a multimedia instructional designer in the online learning industry, a NASA educational lead for the Space Shuttle Program, the Office of Biological and Physical Research, and the Space Science Mission Directorate, and a social science researcher at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). He is also an accomplished filmmaker, having produced and directed three documentary features and dozens of short films. Dr. McLain serves on the Board of Directors for the Jane Goodall Institute, STEM Space, and the Lake Travis STEM Academy and is a nationally recognized speaker. His TEDx and TEDx Youth talks can be found online.