Little Shop of Physics Annual Report, Calendar Year 2016

The Little Shop of Physics is a hands-on science outreach program in the College of Natural Sciences at Colorado State University.

We are a group of science educators and students joined by a desire to engage a wide audience in the wonder and process of science.

The Little Shop of Physics team along with partners from Oglala Lakota College and the CNS Learning Community, November 2016. Pine Ridge, SD.


Ongoing Efforts


In 2016, we celebrated an impressive milestone—500,000 people have now participated in at Little Shop of Physics program.

Engagement—working with people, close to home.

On the road

The core of what Little Shop does.

Open House

The biggest event on CSU campus. An event that draws people from all over the region.

On campus

We aren’t just on the road; we are very active here on campus.

Special Events

Extension—spreading the word via the web, in workshops

On the air

Some people still watch television. We’ve got them covered.

On the web

We also have a weekly podcast series.

In the schools

We bring some of the LSOP spirit to formal instruction as well as informal.

International connections

In recent years, we’ve established a number of international partnerships.


Campus Connections

We have a number of partners on campus that collaborate on programs.

  • CNS Learning Community
    • We see members of the learning community weekly; a regular team visits to plan events at Laurel Village. We also co-taught a class for Learning Community students, and will be involving students in a number of projects next year.
  • CSU Departments / Colleges
    • We work extensively with other Departments and Colleges on campus.
      • Open House partners: Biomedical Sciences, Microbiology, Health and Exercise Science, Atmospheric Science, College of Engineering
      • Regular shared outreach programs: Chemistry, EOC
  • NACC
    • We have a long relationship with the Native American Cultural Center. NACC staff and students help plan and take part in all reservation road trips.
  • El Centro
    • We have worked extensively with El Centro on programs for many years.
  • Atmospheric Science
    • We still maintain active ties with Atmospheric Science, forged during a decade of the CMMAP grant.


100% of CNS support is used to pay salaries of people.

  • Staff
    • 2 full-time, 9-month, 2 part-time, 12-month
  • Undergraduate interns
    • 18 paid interns, mostly on work-study.

We reply heavily on volunteers for the work we do.

  • 30+ regular volunteers—a few times a month or more.
  • 400+ occasional volunteers—once or twice a year.


  • CSU
    • Major funding from CNS
    • Physics provides some funding, salary support for Brian Jones
  • External
    • Broncos / CenturyLink
    • Halliburton
    • Pharos
    • Individuals and organizations


A few media resources on the web that highlight some aspects of our program.


A few random facts and figures about Little Shop.

  • The last week in November is Oglala Lakota Nation Little Shop of Physics Week, by tribal proclamation.
  • Over 30 area science teachers were interns with the Little Shop during their time at CSU.
  • We have 8  active “franchises” around the world—programs that are directly modeled on ours, including:
    • Oglala Lakota College
    • Austin Community College
    • House of Experiments (Slovenia)
  • A group of former students from the Colorado School of Mines meets at the LSOP Open House for a reunion each year. They’ve been volunteering for the past 8 years, and keep getting together for this event. Some members of the group fly in from California to take part.
  • Current science teachers: 30+
  • “Franchises”