A group of Colorado State University students will spend spring break on an educational outreach tour showing children of schools in the Four Corners region how science can be fun.
During their break from spring semester classes beginning March 12 through March 16, three students from Colorado State’s Native American Student Services will join other student volunteers from the Little Shop of Physics to travel through northwestern New Mexico and southwestern Colorado. The Little Shop of Physics program engages young students with experiments that use everyday objects to demonstrate scientific principles. This is the fourth year Native American Student Services has joined the program to visit to the area.
The group will visit Mesa Elementary in Shiprock, N.M., on March 12, and Ojo Amarillo Elementary School in Fruitland, N.M., on March 13. Both schools are part of the Navajo Nation. The group will then head to the Southern Ute Education Center in Ignacio, Colo., for programs on March 15 and 16. The education center is part of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe.
"It is very important to introduce science and technology education to these students and their communities," said Ty Smith, director of Native American Student Services. "These students need to know they can succeed in these academic areas, and that can best happen through a positive experience with hands-on experiments developed by the Little Shop of Physics. We are very supportive of any program that will inspire children to become more inquisitive of scientific fields."
Each visit to the schools involves hands-on science experiments for children, after-school workshops for teachers to enhance their curriculum and an evening program to engage parents and community members. The Four Corners outreach trip is sponsored by BHP Billiton, APS 4 Corners Power Plant, BP America Durango Operations Center, the John and Sophie Ottens Foundation and the Colorado State-base Center for Multi- Scale Modeling of Atmospheric Processes.
All experiments were built by undergraduate students at Colorado State. The heart of the Little Shop of Physics is a traveling program. Each year, it visits about 40 different schools and presents programs to about 15,000 students from kindergarten to 12th grade.
For more information about Little Shop of Physics, visit online at http://littleshop.physics.colostate.edu. For more about Colorado State’s Native American Student Services, visit www.nass.colostate.edu.