About Adopt-a-Physicist

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Adopt-a-Physicist connects high school physics students to real physics graduates who are eager to share their stories. Working in areas ranging from particle physics research to freelance writing, the participating physicists embody a huge range of careers, backgrounds, interests, and educational levels. Adopt-a-Physicist connects classes with the physicists of their choice through online discussion forums that are active for a set three-week period. Each physicist can only be "adopted" by up to three classes, making lively, in-depth discussions possible.

Adopt-a-Physicist aims to:

The Basics

High school classes "adopt" up to five physics graduates (from here on referred to as physicists, although most do not carry that title professionally) of their choice from a large pool of profiles.

During a set three-week period, each physicist hosts a discussion forum populated by the classes that have adopted him or her (three at most). Students are free to ask questions that they find meaningful, for example questions on hobbies, careers, and daily life are welcome. Students and physicists are encouraged to post multiple times weekly and are often surprised at the many things they have in common.

For many students, the Adopt-a-Physicist experience culminates in a presentation or paper about the physicists they have gotten to know. According to teacher feedback, one of the most common student reactions to participating is, "I never realized that physicists were real people, like us!" Written by a teacher, the Adopt-a-Physicist Teacher's Guide provides practical suggestions for implementing Adopt-a-Physicist in the classroom and assessing participation.

For many physicists, the Adopt-a-Physicist experience is a welcome chance to reflect on their experiences and share their love of physics with students. Many cite the wanting "to give back" as a motivation for joining, and having fun as a reason for coming back! The Adopt-a-Physicist Physicist's Guide provides practical suggestions for hosting a successful forum.

Adopt-a-Physicist is a service provided by Sigma Pi Sigma (ΣΠΣ), the physics honor society, in collaboration with the American Physical Society (APS), the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT), and ComPADRE. It is supported, in part, by the National Science Foundation and the American Physical Society Campaign for Physics.

View the Teacher Packet.

View the Physicist Packet.

The Adoption Process

Contact Adopt-a-Physicist

You can contact the Adopt-a-Physicist staff using the feedback form.

Special requests can be sent to editor@adoptaphysicist.org.

Adopt-a-Physicist Editors

Kendra Redmond, Sigma Pi Sigma