Whiz kids in 8th grade get jump on tough high school physics courses

Perched on their stools next to lab stations, budding young scientists puzzled through how to measure the speed of a toy electric car with the instruments of a high school lab.

But the students haven’t even entered high school. Before next year, this class of 29 eighth-graders will be taking the Regents physics exam, a tough test most city high school grads don’t even take.

“If kids are young enough, then they won’t know to be intimidated,” said longtime physics teacher Jason Klein, quoting the philosophy of his principal in making the nearly unprecedented decision to offer advanced science early. “It seems to work here.”

In 2012 — the latest year there were figures for — eighth-graders from just two city schools took the Regents in physics. For at least the last four years, upwards of 90% of the eighth-graders who took the exam at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College Preparatory School passed it, school leaders and teachers said.

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