Little Shop of Physics Open House Features ‘The Rainbow and Beyond’

The 18th annual Little Shop of Physics Open House is set for Saturday, Feb. 28, at the Lory Student Center Ballroom on the Colorado State University campus. The open house, which is free and open to the public, is from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.   

More than 250 homemade experiments will be on display. About 100 tie-dye T-shirt-clad volunteers – CSU students, community members, high school students and CSU staff – will be on hand to assist. Last year, more than 6,000 people showed up for this once-a-year festival of hands-on science.

The theme for the open house is "The Rainbow and Beyond."

"Each year, we focus on a particular physical phenomenon," said Brian Jones, a Colorado State University physics department lab coordinator, who created Little Shop of Physics. "This year, we are making a bunch of new experiments that have to do with visible light as well as infrared and ultraviolet light. Understanding infrared in particular is important to understanding the earth’s climate and why it’s changing – it’s part of our new emphasis on the science of the atmosphere."

As part of this new focus, the Little Shop of Physics welcomes the Center for Multiscale Modeling of Atmospheric Processes, or CMMAP, to this year’s event. CMMAP will host a new area called "Atmospheric Adventures" that includes interactive displays on weather and climate.

In addition to hands-on activities, the Little Shop of Physics will be sharing seven interactive presentations. This year’s highlight will be a presentation titled, "18 Years of Little Shop," and will feature giant fog rings, flying stuffed animals, a focused sound beam and many more of the Little Shop’s greatest hits from a long and colorful history.

Little Shop of Physics is a travelling hands-on science outreach program started at CSU in 1991. It is a resource tool for teacher’s that provides both online experiments and classroom visits. Little Shop of Physics visits K-12 classrooms around Colorado and has visited many foreign countries. The program annually reaches more than 20,000 students. Last year, Little Shop of Physics visited their 250,000th student at Moore Elementary School in Fort Collins.

For more information, call (970) 491-3212 or visit