Colorado State University Little Shop of Physics to Host 19th Annual Open House Feb. 27

The Colorado State University Department of Physics will host its 19th annual Little Shop of Physics open house on Saturday, Feb. 27, featuring more than 300 hands-on science-based activities and presentations engaging audiences of all ages.

The open house, which is free and open to the public, will be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Lory Student Center on the Fort Collins campus. The Lory Student Center is near the intersections of Laurel and Meridian avenues.

This year’s event is titled “Put a Spin on It.” More than 5,000 visitors attended last year’s event, and roughly 100 volunteers from the CSU and Fort Collins communities will be on-hand to help.

“We are very excited about this year’s open house, because we’ve added a bunch of great hands-on experiments that relate to this year’s theme,” said Brian Jones, a Colorado State University physics instructor and director of Little Shop of Physics, which he created. “We’ve got a new Tornado Box that whips up a funnel cloud in seconds, a new spinning fluid tank called the Cyclone Spinner that’s been a real kid favorite and a newly revised ‘Swirl and Hurl’ exhibit that kids can ride. It’s a science party, and everyone is invited.”

The open house will also feature seven interactive presentations. The crowd pleaser “Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream” will be back showing guests how to make homemade ice cream in less than two minutes. Other productions include “Air in Motion,” “The Million-Volt Tesla Coil” and “The Rainbow and Beyond”.

For a second year, scientists with CSU’s Center for Multiscale Modeling of Atmospheric Processes in the Department of Atmospheric Science will partner with Jones to present “Put a Spin on the Weather.” This area will be devoted to teaching the science of weather and climate including lessons in how to make a pet tornado and a cloud in a bottle.

Little Shop of Physics has operated as a hands-on traveling science outreach program since 1991. The group serves as a resource tool for K-12 teachers in Colorado and in the region. Little Shop focuses on finding creative ways to share the wonder of science with others and presenting unique hands-on science experiments with a diverse range of students. To date, Little Shop of Physics has reached more than 250,000 students through its online and in-class experiments.