Wind River Road Trip
During the week of October 5, 2015, the Little Shop of Physics visited two schools on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming. The Wind River Reservation is home to the Shoshone and Northern Arapaho Native American Tribes, who historically had fought with each other before being settled together on the Reservation in 1878. The reservation has received national attention for its high crime and drug usage rate.
The Little Shop of Physics has a decade-long relationship with schools on the Wind River Reservation. This trip we visited Wyoming Indian Middle School, a predominately Arapaho school, as well as Fort Wasahakie School, a predominately Shoshone school. Over these two school visits, we worked with approximately 650 students grades K-12.
All of the 650 students spent 30-60 minutes exploring our hands-on science experiments in our Light Room and Dark Room. Additionally, each student received a Halliburton Science-at-Home Kit. The kits contain several experiments designed to be fun, engaging, and allow students to continue to explore and experiment at home. Included were rainbow glasses, reaction time rulers, thermal color change pencils and inflatable air bags. Students had an opportunity to interact with LSOP undergraduate interns, and could ask questions about studying science in college.
For many of the students, this was the first exposure to the possibility of pursuing science, though several middle school students remembered our visit to their elementary school several years prior. Overall student reaction was extremely positive. In the words of one Wyoming Indian Middle School student “This is so awesome! I don’t want to leave this place. It’s cool!” A high school student at Fort Washakie told one of our interns, “This is the most science I’ve ever seen in my life!”