The best time of the year: Adopt a Physicist!


Twice a year, the SPS (society of physics students, a branch of the American Physics Society) hosts a forum which matches physicists (like me) with high school classes with students studying physics. They ask questions and we respond.

I have done this regularly since 2009, and it is the highlight of my year. Each physicist who volunteers gets “adopted” by three high school classes, and then the discussion begins.

There are some predictable questions, like “How was it studying in college?” “What was your favorite subject” and a lot of questions about being a product manager, working in industry, and how physics helps me there.

But the real fun is the tangents that the discussions go down. In one of my classes, one of the students is planning on studying cognitive language recognition, one is planning on studying physics in a foreign country (can’t help you there), and it turns out that one of them plays guitar, so we have talked about music as well as physics.

I am glad to participate, and I hope that the students get what they expected out of it. But, guilty admission, it is a LOT of fun.

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By geoffand

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October 2013

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