Physics is for Everyone Who is Willing to Give It A Try

Myth 4:

Only certain types of people can do physics. You have to “look” like a physicist to study it in high school.

Fact:

Physics is for everyone and anyone who is willing to give it a try.

The field of physics is constantly changing and there are great opportunities for people from all backgrounds. For example, the number of students taking physics has grown (from 2005-2013). And there are many examples of super cool people doing physics careers! 

  • In recent years (2007–2017), the percentage of women earning a bachelor’s degree in physics and astronomy has not changed over time. However, the percentage of women enrolling in physics graduate programs and earning a physics doctorate has continued to rise.
  • In 2013, 46% of high school physics students were young women, and this percentage has remained stable since 2003. In addition, 37% of high school teachers were women, and this percentage has grown over time. 
  • The percentage of faculty members who are women is increasing over time. 
  • African-American and Hispanic women remain under-represented in physics and astronomy. However, the number of Hispanic women earning physics and astronomy degrees is growing rapidly over time, while the number of African-American women has not shown similar growth. 

The future looks bright for future physicists!

Download the Brochure

APS and the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) have created a shareable “5 Myths” brochure for teachers, counselors, and students to download. Check it out!

5 myths brochure cover

Download the Brochure