The Little Shop of Physics, Colorado State University’s hands-on science outreach program, reached a milestone today – 250,000 students visited. The Little Shop of Physics crew visited Moore Elementary School in Fort Collins and selected fourth grader Kevin Vorse as the 250,000th student. When told of his selection, nine-year-old Kevin had only one word, "Really?" Kevin was presented with a traditional tie-dyed Little Shop of Physics t-shirt and was recognized at an evening presentation at the school.
Brian Jones, Colorado State physics professor and director of the Little Shop of Physics, brought a variety of experiments as part of their "Rainbow and Beyond" tour to Moore Elementary. The Little Shop of Physics is a collection of home-made science experiments designed to be used by students at all grade levels. Through the program, students experience science first-hand by observing, experimenting and questioning – and learn that science is something they can do.
Each year, the Little Shop of Physics shares their collection of nearly 300 experiments with thousands of students throughout Colorado, the U.S. and abroad in countries such as Korea. They also have worked with Native American groups and blind students. "We’re making science real for kids. We want these interactions to be quick and zesty," Jones said.
"We started Little Shop on a lark and thought it would last a year or two," said Jones. "Now we’re at the point where we’ve interacted with a quarter of a million kids. We’ve had half a million hands on our experiments."
For the past 18 years, the program has visited dozens of different schools annually. "Our goal is two-fold," Jones said. "Students working with our experiments discover some interesting and amazing things about physics, but they also learn that physics – and science in general – is something that is accessible, engaging and even fun."
In addition to school programs, Little Shop of Physics presents an annual open house on the CSU campus and teacher workshops as well as a television show produced in cooperation with the local Poudre School District Channel 10.
For more information about Little Shop of Physics, visit http://littleshop.physics.colostate.edu.