After a childhood split between Spain and Southern California, Micah graduated from the California Institute of Technology with a degree in applied physics and then spent nine years teaching science and math in Shanghai, China. In Shanghai, he was involved with a local amateur astronomy group, served as the director of the school’s astronomical observatory, and he volunteered for the city’s subway system. Coming back to the U.S. in 2014, Micah was drawn to OVS for its family-like atmosphere, wide-range of co-curricular activities, and high standards for academic achievement. Micah and his wife live on campus along with their three daughters.
When I’m not in classroom, I can be found
Walking around the dorms, in my office, or up on the hills behind the school, blazing a trail.
Favorite thing to do with resident students
Every semester, during final exams, we pick one day to get the barbecue out during study hall. After everyone’s been studying hard for 2 hours, we’ll cook hot dogs, play music, chat, and just relax a little bit before more studying. It’s a nice break.
Most memorable OVS camping experience
A few years ago, we went up to Sierra Nevada as a whole school, all of us in one campground. Seeing all the classes mixing together, seeing the younger kids — some of whom had never been camping before — learning from older kids was great. And also going to Anza Borrego last year, when we went to the hot springs.
One thing students don’t know about me
I speak fluent Spanish!
My favorite lesson is at end of the year, after the AP Physics exams, where we look at gender representation in the field of professional physics. If students take my class, they probably have an interest in a career in science, so it’s something they’ll soon start living in their professional lives. If you’re a woman, you’ll start dealing with pressure to leave science for many reasons. For the guys, it really challenges their ideas of gender roles and the differences. So it’s a really memorable unit.
Why I teach physics
Of all the sciences, physics makes the most sense and ties in the most with our daily practical experiences. It also goes the furthest in exploring what happens at the tiniest level of nature inside an atom, and also the largest scale of what happens in the universe. It’s a field that has the most to explore, the most boundaries to push.