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).

Ron Toland

Ron Toland - Junior Programmer

Ron grew up in West Texas, and, according to him, spent too much time playing video games, reading up on particle physics, and dreaming of going into space to be happy doing anything non-technical as an adult.  So it's ironic that he ended up where he is today!

"I originally got into physics because I decided I wanted to work for NASA. I'd just finished my philosophy degree, but instead of going on to graduate school, I decided I wanted to join the technical world."  Since graduation with a BS in Physics in 2001, Ron first worked as an optical engineer at the NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, and after spending two years working as a writer and producer in the games industry, he eventually began writing his own programs and decided to pursue programming full time.

Ron says that his Physics training has helped him in every job he's had since graduating.  "As an optical engineer, " he says, "physics helped me grasp the fundamentals of any new technology I came across, and gave me the background I needed to invent technologies of my own. As a programmer, " he adds, "my physics training helps me design rigorous tests for the code I write,  as well as giving me the understanding needed for some of the mathematical algorithms I need to use."