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8 Physics Articles for High School Students

Keeping track of scientific articles as a high school student is crucial for many reasons. First, one can access credible and up-to-date information about a topic they’re interested in, potentially helping them produce high-quality research projects during their academic journey. Demonstrating a familiarity with scientific literature can also showcase a student’s critical thinking and analytical skills making them stand out in college SOPs and interviews. 

We’ve covered 8 physics articles that scientifically curious high school students can use to access high-quality scientific literature. These platforms publish physics research papers regularly that can be understood at a grade 9–12 reading level, and can potentially serve as publishing platforms for high school research papers. 

Cost: Free

Science Journal for Kids and Teens, established in Texas, is a non-profit organization that publishes an online science magazine for children and teachers. Their magazine provides peer-reviewed research papers written in a language appropriate for young readers and is freely downloadable. This platform aims to make scientific research more accessible to the general public, particularly school children. With every paper published, students can also access an opening video, meta information such as keywords, the reading level of the paper, a set of assessment questions, educator resources like labs, quizzes, and slide shows, and a teacher’s key.

Students can sort scientific articles in Physics based on their reading level, scientific methods used, scientific figures used, research location, scientific affiliations, languages, and more. Science Journal or Kids and Teens looks at high-impact academic journals such as PNAS, The Lancet, Science, and Nature for peer-reviewed science research published in the past year! These papers are then adapted into articles students can easily read as part of their magazine with the entire process taking anywhere between 3 to 6 months! 

Cost: Free

Frontiers for Young Minds is a unique platform allowing high school students to access cutting-edge scientific discoveries while fostering collaboration between researchers and students. In the Astronomy and Physics section of this website, students can discover articles delving into the history of the solar system, the universe, galaxies, planetary surfaces, and the signals and spaces in between! The platform invites distinguished scientists to write about their research in a language that school students can understand. 

However, the platform takes this process a step ahead and lets high school students, with the help of a scientific mentor, give feedback on these articles and suggest improvements before they are published. By teaching them the art of peer-reviewing, Frontiers for Young Minds shows students what they can expect much further in their academic journey when research becomes a part of their curricula. 

Cost: Free subscription via email. 

The NHSJS is an online, student-run, free, and peer-reviewed research journal whose target audience is high school STEM enthusiasts. It aims to expose high school students to new scientific concepts and ideas and engage them outside the classroom. This journal also welcomes spring researchers to participate in the publishing process by submitting articles. Although student-run, the NHSJS upholds its publication standards through its dedicated peer review process and anointed Scientist Advisory Board consisting of professional researchers.

From the challenges surrounding Nuclear Fusion to how Formula One engineers the fastest cars in the world, the physics segment of this journal provides captivating insights into the cutting-edge advancements and fundamental principles that drive progress in these fields. High school students can also join the NHSJS year-long research program which they can learn more about here

Cost: Free

JEI is an online open-access journal publishing original papers in physical and biological sciences written by middle and high-school students. Students can submit original research under the guidance of an advisor or teacher, receive feedback, and publish their findings in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. These submissions typically originate from classroom projects, science fair entries, and mentor-supervised research. 

JEI is a non-profit run by post-doctoral fellows, professors, and graduate students across the United States. It provides an opportunity for grad students to engage in the editorial and review side of research publishing and introduces high school students to student-friendly research questions. Examples of physics research published by JEI in 2024 include studies on the optical properties of gelatin and theoretical explorations of the journey to Proxima Centauri B.

Cost: Free to access, $35 to submit an original research paper for review and publishing

The Journal of High School Science is a peer-reviewed STEAM publication consisting of original articles, review papers, technical notes, and other types of research conducted by high school students. It is an open-access journal meant for high school students to read and publish independent peer-reviewed research. Although free to browse, for each paper submitted the Journal charges $35 before it is peer-reviewed and accepted for publication. 

The Journal covers research in the fields of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics, published in one of four volumes each year. Manuscripts on the website are reviewed through a single-blind peer review process, generally by two independent reviewers. In the realm of physics, a recent paper published on this platform explores the concept of using radiator fans in internal combustion engines and electric vehicles to generate wind energy. This can effectively turn automobiles into mobile wind turbines to capture and utilize this previously untapped energy source!

Cost: Free

The Young Scientists Journal is an international peer-reviewed science journal uniquely distinguished by its contributors and audience — school students aged 12 to 20 who write, review, and produce the content. In the past decade alone, YSJ has fostered a community of scientific readers and researchers from over 50 countries. This journal covers topics from the Physical sciences, Astronomy, Astrobiology, Climate Change, and more. 

A recent physics-related article published on YSJ explores the use case of fractal dimensions and whether they could help in diagnosing cancer. This paper specifically looks at the “box-counting” method to find fractal dimensions and reviews automated systems that compare cancerous and healthy cells. Another paper explores the orbital dynamics of Earth and how they contribute to the leap year and seasonal changes!

Cost: Free

The Scientific Teen is a popular global journal for high school students to access and publish scientific articles. Since its conception in 2018, it has pooled contributions and readership from over 80 countries covering subjects like Physics, Astronomy, Chemistry, Biology, and Medicine. This platform also organizes an inaugural STEM essay contest open to high school students with the opportunity to win exciting cash prizes, a microscope, and more. 

Its physics research papers cover topics from quantum computers to the science of snowflakes written by young adults ages 13–19. The website has its editorial team that approves each article sent before publishing. This journal comes with a monthly publication schedule available online and printed as a magazine sent to its subscribers around the world! 

Cost: Digital at $39, and Print & Digital: $79 per year.

Scientific American is a popular subscription-based science magazine that makes scientific research accessible to a wide audience, including high school students. Students can find a broad range of topics including physics disciplines like engineering, astrophysics, and more. Known for its engaging and clear writing style, readers can understand complex topics and cutting-edge research published on this platform. 

For those interested in physics, the magazine offers a wealth of articles on current research and discoveries, such as the potential engineering hazards posed by high-speed moon dust and new observations supporting theories about the formation of the universe’s first black holes. These diverse and timely articles not only inform but also inspire high school students by showcasing the latest advancements and ongoing debates in the scientific community.

One other option — Lumiere Research Scholar Program!

If you’re interested in pursuing physics research guided by PhD mentors, consider applying to one of the Lumiere Research Scholar Programs, selective online high school programs for students founded with researchers at Harvard and Oxford. Last year, we had over 4000 students apply for 500 spots in the program! You can find the application form here.

Also check out the Lumiere Research Inclusion Foundation, a non-profit research program for talented, low-income students. Last year, we had 150 students on full need-based financial aid!

Trisha Malhotra, an Ashoka University alumna, has 5 years of experience being a freelance writer and currently writes for Lumiere Education. She is passionate about music, reading, and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, as well as a devoted cat parent.

Image Source: Frontiers logo



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