Oglala Lakota College Science Outreach Weekend

On the weekend of December 12, a crew of teachers and students from Oglala Lakota College (OLC) from the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota came down to CSU to build and repair experiments for their traveling hands-on science program.

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For 8 years, the Little Shop of Physics has had a partnership with Oglala Sioux Tribe and Oglala Lakota College in particular. Every summer since 2008 we have conducted teacher workshops at OLC and every year we have visited schools on the Pine Ridge Reservation as part of our traveling program. In 2013 the Executive Committee of the Oglala Sioux Tribe passed a resolution, which was signed by the Vice President of the Tribe, and proclaimed that the 4th week of November every year was Oglala Lakota Nation Little Shop of Physics Week.

A few years ago, a team of science teachers and students at OLC created their own hands-on traveling science program–based on Little Shop of Physics–with the goal of seeing more students on the reservation than LSOP could do on it’s own. This past weekend, a crew of 8 teachers and students came down to visit Little Shop of Physics, repair experiments that had been damaged, and create new experiments. After a brief stop at the CSU Physics Teaching Labs to check out 150 of the LSOP experiments that are currently set up, the OLC crew was off to work. Over the course of the weekend, with the help of the LSOP crew, they built 20 experiments including a hovercraft! These experiments include classic Little Shop of Physics experiments such as Delayed Speech, Cartesian Divers,  Infinite Reflections, IR Goggles and Wormhole as well as some exciting new experiments including Talking Twinklies, Magnetic Vortex, Pandora’s Box and Vroom Boom Broom. Luckily for us, the folks at OLC are happy to share their ideas with us, and we will be building some of these new experiments shortly!

At the same time we were also joined by Mary Breen of the Fernbank Science Center in Atlanta. Mary is one of our peeps who does hands-on science education. Over the weekend, she built 15 experiments to bring back to Atlanta with her, and she now has many new ideas for experiments she can build!

All of the photos from the weekend can be found here. Thanks to Oliver for taking pictures!

Our work on the Pine Ridge Reservation and with Oglala Lakota College is funded in part by the Halliburton Foundation.