Physicist Questions

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Physicist Questions

Postby expectopatronum97 » Thu Dec 02, 2010 9:15 pm

I'm 13 in the 8th grade and i wanted to pursue a career as a physicist when i graduate. Classes i plan to take in my highschool years (among the regular classes) are: 9th: Geometry, statistics 10th: Algebra 2, Computer Science, 11th: AP Chem, AP Environmental, Physics, Pre-Calculus, 12th: AP Physics, AP calculus, AP Biology. I attend a private school that only allows students the maximum of 3 AP classes in junior year and 3 AP classes in senior year. Statistics and Computer Science is not included in the normal curriculum, so ill be taking online courses. I know AP Environmental is not a requirment to become a physicist, but i wanted to take the class for my own enjoyment. Im very studius and im pretty sure ill be able to handle multiple advanced classes at once. I want to make the MOST of my highschool years and i dont want to waste a moment.Any suggestions about other classes i should take? Or any clubs or outside programs i would like to be involved in? This is a rough outline of my future years but thats bacsically everything. And im very sure that this is what i want to do, and im particularly interested in chemistry. Thank you very much!
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Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:42 pm
Occupation: Student: 8th grade
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Re: Physicist Questions

Postby barretttomlinson » Sat Dec 04, 2010 4:04 am


I am a chemist, but your interests sound very similar to mine at your age. It is not too early to begin exploring the colleges/universities you would like to attend. I say this because they all have rather specific expectations and requirements for admission, and you need to be sure your high school course of study and extracurricular activity qualify you for admission to the schools you want to attend. I suggest you look at several types of colleges and universities, both public and private, large and small, and include some liberal arts colleges like Reed College, Amhearst, Oberlin, and Harvey Mudd.

Do not underestimate the importance and value of learning to write really well. Read as widely as you can. Most college educations will severely stress test your ability to read quickly and comprehend thoroughly, so highly developing your reading skills is critical. A serious mistake of many prospective scientists is to want to study only math and science to the exclusion of language arts, yet success in science depends heavily on your ability to communicate verbally and in writing extremely well. Knowledge of foreigh languages is often a requirement. Do not neglect interests you have in sports, art, and music, and develop your interpersonal and social networking skills as much as you can. Your goal should be to become as “well rounded” as possible.

Many high school activities have great value. Debate can hone your research, analytical thinking and persuasion skills. Participation in science fairs can give valuable experience and possibly lead to scholarships. Many colleges value and some high schools require volunteer community service. Experience in the performing arts and competitive sports can have great lifelong value.

You are embarking on a great adventure. I wish you great success!

Best regards,

Barrett L Tomlinson
Former Expert
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Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2007 12:24 am

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