Emily Hall

Science Teaching Co-ordinator
Otago University Advanced School Sciences Academy (OUASSA), University of Otago, New Zealand


Fight Like a Physicist
Case studies and presentations

Thursday 23 February



Emily HallEmily Hall works at the University of Otago, New Zealand, where she is Science Teaching Co-ordinator for the Otago University Advanced School Sciences Academy (OUASSA), Tutor/Lab Demonstrator in the Physics Department and teacher of a scholarship Physics class for Dunedin school students.  Emily started her university education in Physics and Computer Science in Canada but put this on hold to work as a software developer for the North American sawmill industry before moving to Dunedin.  Emily completed a BSc in Computer Science and Physics from the University of Northern British Columbia, a BA in Education and a Bachelor of Secondary Teaching at the University of Otago and went on to teach Senior Physics in Balclutha and Dunedin. While teaching Physics at Otago secondary schools, she also completed a Master of Science Communication, with her thesis titled “Fight Like a Physicist: Teaching Classical Mechanics through Karate”. The martial art is much more than an academic interest for Emily: she teaches karate – of course, trying to throw in some physics concepts as well – and competes both nationally and internationally. Emily is also mum to two teenage boys who are very keen karate competitors.

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How does this session contribute to Seeing Science Differently?
When I was teaching high school Physics, I heard over and over from students that Physics was “boring” and “not relevant” and “too much maths”. Most of the students in my class were there because they needed Physics for their post high school plans and not from interest in the subject. My aim with my Masters thesis and my work now is to show students that Physics is fun, practical, and relevant to their every day lives. To get them to see Physics differently. In 2013, I worked with Year 12 and 13 high school students teaching Physics concepts through karate.