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).

Kenny Jensen

Kenny Jensen - Control Systems Engineer for Wind Energy Startup

Though Kenny's research background was in carbon nanotubes, he has pursued his present career track with conviction. "Energy will be one of the great problems facing humanity in the 21st century, and physicists, with their strong technical background and physical intuition, are especially well positioned to attack this problem, " he says.  "A solid understanding of fluid dynamics is critical for anyone in the wind power industry."

What's more, Kenny feels that his Physics background helped him to teach himself the skills which were pertinent to his job. "I actually never took a fluid dynamics course. However, the math used is essentially the same as that for E&M, so it was easy to pick up."  

Kenny says he chose Physics because it was a natural fit for him, and allows him to use his skills to create and innovate. "At heart, I'm an inventor, " he says. "I like to create new and useful things. But to create truly new inventions (e.g. transistor, laser, etc...), you need to understand how and why things work down to the last detail, which requires physics."