by Wylly Willmott
Among the many new faces in our science and math department this year is Robin O’Hara, a former college athlete, physical therapist, world traveler, and now a physics, chemistry, and sports science teacher at OES.
While playing soccer at Harvard, O’Hara majored in Biological Anthropology after discovering it would allow her to take the classes she was most interested in by studying human and exercise physiology.
In 2008, Robin and her Denver-based family relocated to China. Both O’Hara and her husband are educators, and after spending 6 years working at a great school in China they moved again to the Philippines for a new adventure. O’Hara fit the OES profile for teachers, and the school reached out to her late last year. After meeting with Ryan and Asha her perspective on restructuring the science research project in 9th grade mirrored OES’ new mission to create a smoother high school transition. O’Hara’s global experience working with grade 9 has made her a valuable addition to Team 9, a group focused on creating a cohesive program for the beginning of freshman year. The Dig expects to report on future Team 9 developments.
Among being a part of the team teaching core OES classes like Chemistry and Physics, Robin is teaching an exciting new class called the Science of Sports and Exercise. She has taught this course before, but since it addresses such a broad topic in only a semester, it continuously changes based off of student input and interests. This year’s group is exploring the challenges of assessing fitness as well as the challenges of human subject testing. At the beginning of the year, all of the students’ hand eye coordination was tested, and after daily juggling and stretching they will be reassessed at the end of the semester.
With such a wide range of topics left to explore including the physiology of muscle gain and loss, the validity of popular sports products, and the application of science to sports performance and health, this elective is sure to continue engaging students with new fields of interest in the future.
If you haven’t met Robin yet, be sure to introduce yourself! She has already proven to be a valuable resource and member of our community and we are so excited that she is here.