American Physical Society
Smiling professor

Information for Educators


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

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).

Steve Gass

Steve Gass - Inventor and Patent Attorney

Gass grew up on a horse ranch in the countryside of eastern Oregon. He began woodworking at age 4 and never stopped. "I just love to build things, " he said. He was also always interested in how things worked, and this interest led him to study physics. He went to college at Oregon State University, and got a Ph.D. in physics from the University of California at San Diego, studying how proteins fold. As his graduation neared, he realized that he did not want a career in academic research, where he would have to spend much of his time writing grants. "I loved the science, but it didn't seem like a very good lifestyle. So I thought, 'well, what else can I do with my degree in physics?', " he said. He went to law school at the University of California at Berkeley, then became a patent attorney.

As a patent attorney, Gass worked with inventors and companies to --patent their inventions and prevent them from being copied.  Of the inventions he helped to patent, his favorite was a screw that doctors used to hold broken bones together. While working as an attorney, Gass continued his woodworking projects, building a 4, 000 square foot workshop behind his house. "When I was a little kid, I liked playing with Legos, " he said. "I just never quit."