Ms.McQuillen’s Take on Chemistry


Sarah Kincaid

Ms.McQuillen prepares for her first period chemistry class.

Sarah Kincaid, Bear Hub Editor

Written neatly on the left side of the whiteboard in bright blue marker was a classic science joke from Ms.McQuillen, “What did the chemist snack on during lunch? A gram cracker!” The crowd of students rolled their eyes and giggled to themselves as their teacher insisted it was one of her best jokes.

Ms.McQuillen is known for her not very funny but definitely corny jokes. When asked about what makes her different than other teachers, she laughed and said that “not every teacher writes amazing science themed jokes to brighten up their students’ days.” Students are greeted with a new chemistry joke each day on the whiteboard and a daily announcement or positive reminder  to get them through another day of school.

For incoming sophomore students of the East Brunswick high school, their chemistry class is often the one they have the most trouble with. Ms.McQuillen, a 10th grade chemistry teacher uses her creative personality and love for the subject to educate her students. When walking into L7, Ms.McQuillen’s classroom, you’ll see student-made posters about the subject along with a large poster of the periodic table sprawled across the wall next to the smartboard. Ms.McQuillen’s colorful lab goggles lay on her desk next to the sink with one side of the goggles red and the other green.

Ms.McQuillen says that the secret to teaching chemistry to 10th graders is to “do as many hands on activities as possible to make it easier to understand.” She also said that she tries to “be as engaging as possible and offer lots of support to students because chemistry can be a very difficult topic to learn.” Ms.McQuillen, as well as other chemistry teachers of East Brunswick high school know that the topic of chemistry is one that is often stressful to comprehend but they know what it takes to get it through to their students’ minds.

Kimberly Arato, now a junior of the East Brunswick high school was delighted to recall her experience with Ms.McQuillen last year. When asked about her past teacher, Kimberly said that “She is an amazing teacher that cares about her students greatly and knows how to teach it to teenagers.” Having a person that believes in you and gives you the support you need to learn a new topic is what truly matters in a teacher.