American Physical Society
Smiling professor

Information for Educators

Overview

Physics teachers and professors are likely to be the only physicists your students know! So when they have questions about physics and what physicists do, they may come to you for advice. In this section you will find suggestions for ways in which you can cultivate your students' curiosity for learning more about how and why physicists study the world around them.

Tools and Resources

Why Study Physics Poster

APS and AAPT worked together to create a "Top Ten Reasons Why You Should Take Physics" poster. These posters (along with other educational posters) are available through the APS website at http://www.aps.org/programs/education/posters.cfm.

Why Study Physics poster10. This is actually a joke; there is no way to get out of a black hole! But the APS outreach website PhysicsCentral has an article about this fascinating subject.

9. Many people who have studied physics report it helps them develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

8. Why the sky is blue
Why the world goes round (you might have heard it was love, but Newton knew the real answer)
The physics of climate change.

7. This report shows that physics majors get among the highest MCAT scores, and the highest LSAT scores of all undergraduate majors.

6. For some of those recession-proof jobs, see our physicist profiles or the University of Texas website.

5. Mathematics provide the tools physicists use to understand the world we live in. Nobel Prize winner Eugene Wigner explored this theme in a famous essay called The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences.

4. Almost a third of all physics bachelor's recipients who go into the private sector take engineering jobs. See more interesting physics employment facts.

3. Keivan Stassun explores the mysteries of the universe.
Marta Dark-McNeese uses lasers to develop new medical techniques.
Kate McAlpine became an international rap sensation with the Large Hadron Rap.
Kenneth Jensen solves the world's energy problems for Makani Power.

2. Without physics there would be no:

1. Physics makes you more attractive to university recruiters, future employers, and that cutie you have your eye on. (You'll just have to trust us on that last one).

Hakeem Oluseyi

Hakeem Oluseyi - Professor

Hakeem Oluseyi was born in Mississippi and grew up in different ghettos around the south. Hakeem says that he was always interested in sciences, but was first really exposed to them at 11 when he came across some of Einstein's work. Growing up, the culture expected one to fight in order to establish one's worth. This did not interest Hakeem, so he opted for reading inside instead. He was excited about reading Einstein's work "It just knocked my socks off!" he says. "I was like,  what?!? Mass increases? Length contracts? Oh,  my god!... I did everything I could to get my head around this stuff."

This passion for physics followed him through to high school where he won a prize in a science competition for a program he wrote. The judges encouraged him to become a physicist, but he was hesitant. After he graduated, he spent some time in the military and then attended Tougaloo College in Mississippi, where he was one of two physics majors.

After graduating, Oluseyi was introduced to the research world through a summer program at the University of Georgia, where he experienced a sort of culture shock when compared to the world he grew up in. He did not expect the amount of freedom and trust he was given.

He started attending graduate school at Stanford, which proved to be a challenge for him, requiring him to take extra undergraduate classes to keep up, but Oluseyi had an encouraging adviser, and he left Stanford with a Ph.D.