Five Myths About High School Physics


"5 Myths About High School Physics" is a resource for physics advocates that was collaboratively created by APS, STEP UP, and the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) and is based on the previous project “7 Myths About High School Physics." It helps address harmful preconceptions that students and those that advise them often have about physics including:

  • Physics is too hard. Avoid it.
  • Physics doesn't really add to your education.
  • Physics won’t help you get a good job.

The "5 Myths" brochure is intended for high school students and anyone who advises them―teachers, guidance counselors, parents, and others. If you know someone with negative perceptions of physics, we recommend you use the brochure as a conversation starter.

Myth 1: Natural Ability

Fact: Physics is taught at many different levels, including classes that introduce physics topics and allow students to build problem-solving skills.

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Myth 2: College Admissions

Fact: Colleges want to see that students have challenged themselves. Taking physics in high school demonstrates that you’re well rounded, willing to take on challenges in the future, and actually prepares you for college/post-high school success.

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Myth 3: Not Just Lab Work

Fact: Physics opens doors to a wide variety of highly paid careers. Physics majors have high employment rates and are among the best paid of all college graduates while doing jobs that positively impact society.

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Myth 4: Who Can Do Physics?

Fact: Physics is constantly changing and there are opportunities for people from all backgrounds — and there are many examples of super cool people doing physics careers!

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Myth 5: In the Real World

Fact: Physics answers questions about the world that no other field can answer, and is fundamental to other fields & major advancements. 

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