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).

Keivan Stassun

Keivan Stassun - Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy

Keivan was born on July 9,  1972, in Los Angeles,  California. "I get my strange genetic admixture from my Mexican mother and Iranian father, " he said.  Keivan lived in Venice until he was seven, at which point he moved to Encino in the San Fernando Valley ("The Valley"), which is the place he considers to be his "hometown."

Keivan experienced some difficult times growing up, as his father left home when he was very young. "My mother set about gaining residency status and earning a high school equivalency. She worked cleaning homes...and we subsisted on food stamps and welfare. I attribute much of my drive in academics to my earliest memories of my mother studying late into the night for her equivalency and, later, for her citizenship."

It was as a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin that Keivan's ideas about the importance of combining scholarly practices in research, teaching, and outreach began to crystallize. While carrying out his thesis research, Keivan became active in math/science education for minorities in the local schools, and developed an astronomy outreach program to provide teachers with resources related to teaching physics and astronomy. His role as a teacher and mentor remains an essential theme through his work at Vanderbilt, as he is is involved in several programs and publications at Vanderbilt aimed at underrepresented groups in physics and astronomy--such as the  Fisk-Vanderbilt Masters-to-PhD Bridge program, and the American Astronomical Society (AAS) Committee on the Status of Minorities in Astronomy (CSMA).

In addition to his family of students, Keivan enjoys spending time with his two sons, Emilio and Jaime, and his wife Justine, whom he married in 1994.