Colorado State University

Little Shop of Physics Celebrates 500,000th Student

Brian Jones and Little Shop of Physics' 500,000th Student

A quarter century ago, Colorado State University Physics faculty member Brian Jones began a small outreach program to bring hands-on science experiments to local classrooms. The engaging activities, which he carted around in the back of his VW van, were a hit. And the program, Little Shop of Physics, has been creating new fans of physics—here in Colorado and all over the world—ever since.

Jones, who still arrives in classrooms with his illuminating activities, infectious enthusiasm and colorful tie-dye shirts, held a particularly exciting school visit to Truscott Elementary School in Loveland, Colo., on Friday, April 29th, as Little Shop of Physics met its 500,000th student: Haider Asfar. To commemorate the occasion, Haider’s class received science goodies and a giant parachute—to learn about important science principles, of course. The Loveland Reporter-Herald was there to cover the event.

Little Shop of Science students playing with a giant parachuteLittle Shop of Physics, run through the College of Natural Sciences at CSU, celebrated a quarter of a million students just six years ago. So it has been a busy several years for the program. Little Shop’s base is Fort Collins, Colo., but it has reached kids and educators at the Colorado Rockies’ home field, on South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Reservation, in Namibia—and beyond. Earlier this spring, the group was in Washington, DC, for the USA Science and Engineering Festival (see more about that trip here).

The Truscott Elementary School visit and half-millionth-student celebration was the final stop on the group’s 2015-2016 “Get Your Science On” tour. But planning is underway for the 2016-2017 tour. And although some of the dedicated CSU student interns who help with the program will be graduating this month, there will be new members joining the dynamic team soon. Neither Little Shop nor Jones shows any signs of slowing!

Read more about Little Shop of Physics. And see a photo gallery of their recent events.