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).

Amanda Joy McDonald

Amanda Joy McDonald - Actuary

Joy earned a BS in physics from Southern Nazarene University,  Bethany,  OK,  in 1989,  where she published a paper in the Journal of Undergraduate Research in Physics. She was elected into Sigma Pi Sigma in the SNU chapter when it was chartered in
1994. Joy began her career as an actuary before graduation by taking the first actuarial exam in
November 1988.

Then life intervened. She took several years off from Fellowship studies to raise children while still working as an actuary for American Fidelity. In 2006,  realizing she was approaching the twentieth anniversary of starting the Fellows program,  Joy set a goal to achieve the FSA before that anniversary. That goal was realized a few months early when Joy completed the final requirement in July 2008. Joy concentrated her actuarial studies in Group and Health Insurance.

Joy has remained a highly visible "hidden physicist" throughout her actuarial career. She presents talks to university math clubs and chapters of the Society of Physics Students,  describing how a background in Physics prepares one well for actuarial studies.