8th Grade Science and Health
A resident of Crown Heights, Ms. Marcellin was brought up in Trinidad in a very tight family. After a dual college degree in chemistry and lab analysis, she worked as an analytical chemist for seven years. Once in the United States, she joined a biotech program: “To land the job I really wanted, I needed to get my PhD — with family commitments, it was not possible at that time. However, once I started teaching, there was no turning back! I love science, but so many kids don’t. I want to reach every single one of my students and show them that they can apply the science concepts they learn in class to real life situations.”
Ms. Marcellin started teaching in 2006 — both seventh and eighth grades. Before joining our middle school, she was at Brooklyn School for Collaborative Studies in Carroll Gardens.
Exploring and “learning by doing” have always been part of Ms. Marcellin’s teaching style. Our Exploration Units were what she found the most striking about the school — what made it the perfect fit. “Science doesn’t only happen in the classroom — it should help us understand the world around us. I apply real world concepts by exposing the kids to compelling, related issues in their environment.” This can mean that while studying the respiratory system, students also analyze New York City data revealing high levels of children with asthma. These findings in turn lead to the students to connect the dots — asking what affects the respiratory system and why asthma is so prevalent in New York City? “We live science every day. Once the kids can see that, my job has accomplished something great.”
Another main reason she was drawn to the school was Ms. Snell’s “we’re in this together” attitude, which helped foster staff relationships and prioritized teacher wellness — all for the benefit of the students.
To complement her classroom teaching, Ms. Marcellin is part of the very competitive Urban Advantage program which provides teachers with professional development and offers students — and their families — access to 8 science institutions in New York City.
Other advantages of being a teacher – in addition to allowing her time teaching and doing science — are the long summers, which she gets to enjoy with her young son. The job also provides her the opportunity to travel; all-time favorite destinations are Thailand and Nepal.