Colorado State Hosts Inaugural Â??conference for Physics on the Road’ with Nobel Laureate Douglas Osheroff Giving Keynote Address

Colorado State University is hosting leading physicists from the nation’s top universities for the American Physical Society’s inaugural Conference for Physics on the Road Feb. 22-23. Nobel Laureate Douglas Osheroff will be the conference’s keynote speaker.

The conference is bringing together physics experts from Stanford, Harvard, Purdue, Boston College, the University of California and other leading science programs across the country to discuss how to best develop outreach education programs designed to get K-12 students interested and involved in science. The APS is meeting at Colorado State in conjunction with the university’s Little Shop of Physics annual open house so conference attendees can work with Little Shop director Brian Jones, who has created one of the most successful outreach programs in the nation.

Conference participants will kick off their meeting by participating in the Little Shop open house and witnessing first-hand the success of the outreach program.

Each year we take the Little Shop to more than 50 schools and 15,000 children throughout Colorado and neighboring states and present numerous training workshops to teachers across the nation and overseas, all with the goal of showing young people that science is fun and easy," said Jones. "The American Physical Society would like to see this kind of successful program at other top universities throughout the United States."

A schedule of the Conference for Physics on the Road follows.

Saturday, Feb. 22, 2003

  • 10 a.m.-6 p.m. – Participants attend the Little Shop of Physics Open House, Main Ballroom in the Lory Student Center.
  • 8-9:30 p.m. – Poster Session, Physics Department Conference Room, Engineering Building.

Sunday, Feb. 23, 2003

All sessions on Sunday will take place in Hammond Auditorium, D102 of the Engineering Building, or in adjoining rooms.

  • 8:05-8:20 a.m. – Welcome and introductions.
  • 8:20-8:40 a.m. – Keynote speaker: Douglas Osheroff, Stanford University, Nobel Laureate – The Effect of Physics Outreach on One Particular Youngster.
  • 8:40-9:30 a.m. – Session 1: Panel session – Models for physics on the road.
  • 9:30-10 a.m. – Group discussion.
  • 10:30-11:30 a.m. – Session 2: Defining key elements of different models:
    1. Programs that consist of mobile demonstration shows.
    2. Programs that consist of mobile, hands-on experiments.
    3. Programs that consist of other activities (teacher workshops, etc.).
  • 11:30 a.m.-noon – Brief reports from concurrent sessions.
  • 1-2 p.m. – Session 3: Topical discussion – Begin the planning and designing a mobile component for the World Year of Physics in 2005.
  • 2-3 p.m. – Session 4: Topical discussion – Developing the outcomes: Web site, listserv, database, blueprints and conferences for physics on the road.
  • 3:30- 4:15 p.m. – Session 5: Practical details – Moving people and equipment, setting up, taking down, scheduling and finances: the nuts and bolts.
  • 4:15-5 p.m. – Session 6: My favorite demo or experiment – A "sharing" session.
  • 5-5:30 p.m. – Session 7: Wrap-up discussion.

Osheroff was awarded the 1996 Nobel Prize in Physics for his participation in the discovery of superfluidity in helium-3. More information about Osheroff and the discovery is on the Web at

The 12th Annual Little Shop of Physics Open House, free and open to the public, will take place from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Feb. 22 in the Main Ballroom of the Lory Student Center at Colorado State University.

For more information about the Conference for Physics on the Road or the Little Shop of Physics Open House, call Jones at (970) 491-5131.