American Physical Society
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Information for Middle School Educators

Investigating Physicists in Middle School

Classroom Activities Featuring Physicists

Encourage your students to explore and to ask questions. At this point in their academic career, physics is probably not in their vocabulary, but physical science is! Show them how the physical science content they are learning connects to their real world and show them the people that do the science, if possible. Here are a few suggestions for how you can do that:

  • Connect your class with a physicist electronically by participating in Adopt-a-Physicist.
  • Contact a Physicist at your local college or university and invite them to visit your class. Physicists LOVE to share their passion for science and learning with others and also love to do demonstrations! If you aren't sure who to contact, simply e-mail the chair of the Physics department at the college or university nearest you.
  • Contact the student physics club nearest you and invite them to visit your students. They too love to share their love for physics and would be very happy to visit if their academic schedule allows.
  • Partcipate in PhysicsQuest a free contest for middle school students in which the students conduct physics experiments in order to gather clues and solve a mystery.
  • Bring virtual physicists into your classroom by starting a class period with a short video clip featuring a physicist. The teachers' domain is a library of multimedia resources and related curricular resources that can help to bring physics "alive" for your students.

Outside of the classroom

Encourage your students to get involved in science fairs and other extracurricular science activities at your school and in your geographical area. It helps to expose them to as much science as possible. At the same time, they'll be involved in great projects that will get them thinking about which aspects of physics really excite them.

Featured Resource

ADVISER, TEACHER, ROLE MODEL, FRIEND Book Cover

Adviser, Teacher, Role Model, Friend
This guide offers helpful advice on how teachers, administrators, and career advisers in science and engineering can become better mentors to their students. It starts with the premise that a successful mentor guides students in a variety of ways: by helping them get the most from their educational experience, by introducing them to and making them comfortable with a specific disciplinary culture, and by offering assistance with the search for suitable employment.