The Little Shop of Physics was invited to do a hands-on science workshop with hundreds of Physics faculty members and undergraduates from around the country at the Society of Physics Students Physics Congress 2022 in Washington D.C. Heather Michalak and Cherie Bornhorst, staff members with Little Shop of Physics, and 6 Physics undergraduates – Levi Wakeham, Abbie Thayer, Bailey Arnold, Cecilia Dauer, Shay Pence, and Allie Dolan – worked together to put on a 2-hour “Iron Chef Physics” workshop.
Our team and the 6 suitcases of hands-on science experiments we traveled with to setup at PhysCon!
(50 experiments total!)
Our workshop was to encourage participants to embrace outreach with the mindset that anyone can do science anywhere with anything. So we had participants in our workshop build their own Little Shop style hands-on experiments out of everyday objects!
CSU Physics undergraduates presenting “Iron Chef Physics” workshop at SPS PhysCon.
The team at the Albert Einstein Memorial in Washington D.C.
Quotes from the undergraduates in attendance about their experience attending and presenting at SPS Physics Congress:
My biggest takeaway from PhysCon was that the field is not nearly as harsh or narrow as it can sometimes seem and there are more opportunities to use a Physics degree than I had previously considered or thought possible. On top of that, it was great to feel such a sense of community between both undergrads and the professionals who gave their time to be there. For me, the biggest highlight of it all was getting the opportunity to begin building up the network between CSU and other universities in addition to the professional connections I would not have been able to make otherwise. – Bailey Arnold
Being a part of the Little Shop of Physics team at this year’s PhysCon event in Washington DC was truly a once in a lifetime experience. Having never been to DC before or an SPS conference, I really an incredible time being able to attend physics related workshops, find new friends pursuing physics degrees, speak one-on-one with real world physicists, and, most memorably, help with the Little Shop of Physics workshop, which was undoubtedly the highlight of my trip. I feel incredibly lucky to have been a part of something so cool and can’t wait to participate in future Little Shop and SPS events! – Levi Wakeham
My biggest takeaway from this experience was just how many different backgrounds there are for people in physics and how many different paths you can take to achieve your goals, or even how much your goals might change over the years. All our speakers shared so many different experiences and it gave me hope that I can still get to the places I want to if I don’t take one path. – Abbie Thayer
My favorite part of the Washington DC trip was seeing how excited everyone at the workshop was to be creative and build something. – Cecilia Dauer