22-S12 Physics for Everyone! – Gazer, Reuben

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Instructor: Reuben Gazer
Course Date: May 2, 2022 to May 20, 2022
This course takes place from 2:30 PM to 3:30 PM:
Monday to Friday

SKU: 22-S12 Categories: ,

Physics seeks to understand fundamental relationships and patterns in our world and universe to answer big questions such as, “How did the universe begin? Where did it come from? What is it made of? How does it work?”. These questions have driven humans for near eternity to explore our physical environment and the events that take place within it, ultimately in search of understanding ourselves and our existence. Along the way, these important questions (and attempts to answer them) have led to useful discoveries, generalisations and tools that have cyclically enabled humans to better their ability to answer big questions in the first place. But though we now know much about the universe there is much that we know that we do not know. It is on this frontier of the unknown that physics is practised.

In this course, students will learn about physics, from physics and with physics. Learning about physics entails understanding what it is, what it is not, where it came from and how it was (and is) developed. The latter is especially important, and is addressed heavily in the first few lectures by developing historical empathy for early humans and their quest to understand the sky. Learning from physics entails connecting objects, processes and events from your actual life to fundamental patterns or principles in physics. This will also reveal the existence of simpler, general patterns that explain a wide variety of processes that may otherwise seem quite unrelated. Finally, learning with physics will enable students to use the knowledge of the course to independently ask and answer questions like a physicist. Solving your own hunches, suspicions, problems or curiosities is both satisfying and powerful.

Each class will explore physics using a combination of teaching methods to engage students in hands-on learning instead of passive listening. We will perform and observe experiments, conduct in-class polls and debates and engage with a number of multimedia tools like video/audio clips, apps and computer simulations. Students will also receive a number of external resources for extended learning, giving them the ability to take their interest and knowledge of physics well beyond the 15 days of this ELLA course.

One of the primary student objectives of this course is to be inspired enough by the learned material to continue engaging in physics learning after the course. Another is having a solid base set of tools to do just that. One does not have to be a scientist or a mathematician to practise and enjoy physics – after all, this is Physics for Everyone!


Reuben Gazer is a physics enthusiast, magician, science educator and former data engineer and business analyst in Edmonton, AB. He believes that nothing is obvious and loves to understand the interaction of mathematics and the natural world. Reuben has a BSc in physics from McMaster University and an MSc in astrophysics from the University of Alberta. He has taught math or science in one realm or another for over 10 years and currently tutors a number of students in both high school and university. Reuben is currently one year from completing a B.Ed. after-degree to take his love of teaching into high schools here in Alberta.

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