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Physics How to begin path towards physics career

  1. Aug 16, 2012 #1
    Hello, I am a 14 year old about to become a freshmen and I already feel convinced I will become a physicist since I seem to have an good ability in the subject and I absolutely love science.

    I need some advice on how to start of high school on the right foot. I want to start getting a job and would really want it to be in a lab since I would become familiar with the field and will look impressive in my collage application. I am looking to join clubs as well. Im enrolled in Honors Geometry and Honors Chemistry in my HS which is one of the best schools in the US. I looked for science labs near where i live but couldn't find any, my dad says that near where we live there is the NOAA Satellite Operations Center, but that might be too advanced for me, i might just end up as assisting in minor stuff. Do you guys have advice on what jobs, clubs, extra curricular activities and classes to join. Also some physics books I could read because I need to read more for collage. Thanks everyone
     
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  3. Aug 17, 2012 #2

    fss

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    For now you should concentrate on doing well in your science classes.
     
  4. Aug 17, 2012 #3

    eri

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    It's very unlikely you'd be hired for a job at any sort of lab that included any science whatsoever (especially since you're not even old enough to hold a job). You simply don't have any relevant experience. But you could try to look into getting an internship at one next summer. Often that won't include more than just menial work, but it would give you an introduction to what scientists do if you're lucky.
     
  5. Aug 17, 2012 #4

    marcusl

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    Do well in your classes. Take honors, AP, IB or whatever physics and math classes (especially calculus). Beyond that, get a rounded education, learn to write well (this is a tremendously important skill), and follow your passion about something--chess, glee club, journalism, volunteering, rowing, etc.--throughout high school. These things will get you into a good college, which will do more for your future physics career than any amount of concentration on just physics.
     
  6. Aug 18, 2012 #5
    Do you recommend any books I could read to help with that?
     
  7. Aug 20, 2012 #6
    I'll echo the sentiments of everyone else, just focus on doing the best you can in all your courses. Take the most difficult courses available to you and take lots of science and math classes.

    Don't put too much stake in what you think you'll want to be doing for the rest of your life at 14. Things change, interest change, priorities change.

    Be the best, if your not the best then become it.
     
  8. Aug 21, 2012 #7
    this is totally unrelated but can someone plz tell me how 2 tart a thread on this forum
     
  9. Aug 21, 2012 #8

    marcusl

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    To get a rounded education? The best way is to sign up for courses in a variety of topics--history, languages, art, music, whatever! Your interests will also guide you in extracurriculars (playing an instrument or singing or painting). To develop writing skills in particular, take extra English and writing classes. Good writers also read a lot. Read a lot of novels (since science/math types tend to naturally read a lot of non-fiction), especially "classics" (Dante, Dickens, Hardy, Hemingway, Faulkner, Fitzgerald, Twain, Nabokov, Dostoyevsky, Toni Morrison... you get the idea) to understand and appreciate how good writing is constructed; then practice writing essays in all of your classes. If you integrate these things into your school life, then instead of being a specific task it just happens all along.
     
  10. Aug 21, 2012 #9

    S.R

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    Since I'm in a similar situation, I thought it would be appropriate to ask if taking AP or IB levelled courses are truly beneficial? The school I attend doesn't offer any "advanced" courses other than English, however, other school's in my area provide IB and AP courses; so transferring is an option. Also, I'm not sure what extracurriculars I should participate in?
     
  11. Aug 21, 2012 #10

    marcusl

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    Honors courses are few and far between because they aren't for every, or even for most, students. The level of class discussions is generally higher, the caliber of students is higher, and the expectations on quality of work higher. Together with that, students are expected to learn more material at a faster pace, so the work load is greater. Is that for you? Do you like to interact with the "smartest" kids, do extra, like to be challenged? Only you can decide.

    As for extracurriculars, do what interests you and what you are passionate about. Sometimes students think that the number of activities they can list on their college application is what's impressive, so they'll do 4 sports, chess club, glee club, yearbook, drama, science fair, and 10 other activities during high school that they couldn't have spent much time on. Compare to a hypothetical student who loves languages and over the course of three or four years studied Spanish, traveled to Latin America as an exchange student or hosted an exchange student, tutored low-income students in math and other topics at the school learning center, and maybe wrote a play in Spanish for an amateur student theatre group. As an Admissions Officer, who is more impressive? In short, follow your passions and see where they lead.
     
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