U.S. high school physics enrollment up

January 18, 2007

U.S. high school physics class enrollment is increasing, and the number of U.S. physics bachelor's degrees is up 31 percent since 2000.

The American Institute of Physics says new data also suggest physics bachelor's degree recipients are eight times more likely to go on to earn PhDs than those with non-physics bachelor's.

The study was presented last week in Seattle during a joint meeting of the American Association of Physics Teachers and the American Astronomical Society.

"Good physics education is the backbone of a first-class workforce in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics," said Toufiq Hakim, AAPT's executive director. "The future of U.S. economic competitiveness hinges on strong science education in our country."

The AIP says the data show more than 30 percent of U.S. high school seniors have taken physics classes, which is more than ever before, with the percentage rising steadily since the mid-1980s.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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