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).

Marta Dark McNeese

Marta Dark McNeese - Physics Professor

Marta Dark McNeese was born in a suburb outside of Washington, D.C.  She remembers being interested in math and the sciences as early as fifth grade. "I liked the idea that there was a process to learn and problems to solve in math and science, and I remember thinking of other topics--like history--as dates and things to memorize, " she said.  Marta's interest in physics and astronomy deepened as she went through middle school to high school--which was a special school she had applied to because it had a science and math program.  While there, she took a number of difference science classes, but found that she didn't like biology or chemistry.  "Physics was the one for me, " she said.

When she was in eighth grade physical sciences class, Marta found that she could especially identify with her instructor, who was an African-American woman.  Since then, Marta has endeavored to be a mentor to other young women similar with similar experiences through her work at Spelman college.  Spelman is "a wonderful environment for me, and I really wanted to be there so I could encourage young black women to go into the sciences, " Marta says.  And to those few students who maybe don't get the appeal of physics right off the bat,  Marta says, "You're really trying to understand how the universe works.  What could be more exciting than that?"