Feb 252010
Authors: Ryan Sheine

Standing in the hallway of the Physics Department near the swinging Foucalt Pendulum sculpture, Brian Jones, director of CSU’s Little Shop of Physics, wears a tie-dye cast protecting his right wrist, which he broke while riding his three-wheeled scooter to campus.

But it will take a lot more than a broken appendage to dampen his excitement for this Saturday’s 19th annual Little Shop of Physic’s Open House.

“It’s a science party, and everyone’s invited,” Jones said.

The Little Shop of Physics hosts its open house from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Lory Student Center Ballrooms.

During the event, more than 250 hands-on experiments and seven interactive presentations –– liquid nitrogen ice cream, a rainbow experiment and a display showing air in motion –– will be on display.

Physics Department Chair Dieter Hochheimer laughed when he said that people like to stay for the whole day.

“It’s science in a way that’s fun,” Hochheimer said.

Last year’s open house drew more than 7,000 people, Hochheimer said, adding that “every year there are more people coming.”

Jones explained how this year’s theme, “Put A Spin on It,” has a literal and metaphorical double meaning.

It is literal in the sense that, “we’re doing a lot of things that spin,” Jones said, and metaphorical because, Jones said, he wants participants to experiment with science in their own way.

Jones described the atmosphere within the open house as active with “little kids bouncing off the walls.”

Jeff Doak, a freshman computer engineering major at Front Range Community College and whose mom is a CSU employee, has been volunteering for the Little Shop of Physics since he was a freshman in high school.

One of his jobs at the open house will be to make sure the projects keep working.

“Kids tend to dismantle projects pretty fast,” Doak said.

Hochheimer extended his sentiment saying, “people are very enthusiastic and the kids love it.”

Staff writer Ryan Sheine can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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