Our Peeps
The People Behind the Tie Dye T-shirt




Brian Jones

Brian Jones is a popular instructor in the Physics Department at Colorado State University. He spends a good deal of time studying how people learn and thinking about ways to make instruction at all levels more effective, and is a co-author of a recent Physics textbook from Addison Wesley. In 2011 Brian was awarded the Robert A. Millikan Medal for Science Teaching. Additional recognition includes: A "Best Teacher" Award from the Colorado State University Alumni Association, February 2000, the Faculty Undergraduate Teaching Award, College of Natural Sciences, 1998, Colorado State University's N. Preston Davis Award for Instructional Innovation in 1998, Outstanding Science Mentor in Physics by Students as Leaders in Science, 2004-2005, and the Excellence in College Science Instruction Award, Colorado Association of Science Teachers, in 2010. In addition to sharing science with students all over the region, Brian shares his interest and knowledge of science with a broad audience, from college students to preschoolers, and refuses to accept the notion that there are people who can’t learn and understand science.

Alta C.
Video Editer/Photographer
Career Plans: I hope to travel the world making documentaries or working for National Geographic and/or just owning my own production company.

I like that I get to be an editor and photographer and use my creativity.  I am already learning so much!

Sheila Ferguson
Teacher in Residence

Sheila Ferguson has been interested in science her whole life, from her early studies in archaeology to her recent investigations of angular momentum—how to put a spin on it, shall we say. Sheila spent over 20 years as a Poudre School District teacher before joining the Little Shop of Physics. She has a master's degree plus 90 hours of additional study in science and education and is rated "highly qualified" for secondary science instruction. Since joining LSOP in 2000, she has presented programs at over 200 schools and over 2000 teacher workshops. Sheila is actively involved in developing instructional materials for science teachers. She has co-authored instructional materials sold for American Educational Products and has been a co-instructor for the Physics Teaching Experience service-learning course. Her goal is to teach people that science is fun for everyone. (read more...)


Tif Few
Program Manager

Tiffany earned her B.S in Physical Science at Colorado State University while interning for Little Shop of Physics (LSOP). LSOP inspired her to dedicate her life to science education and enrichment. After graduating, Tiffany taught the K-5 science program at Ashley Elementary in Denver Public Schools while earning her masters in elementary education. Tiffany taught elementary science for seven years and spent time as the Gifted and Talented Specialist, Site Assessment Leader, Playground-Build Site Coordinator, Science-Club Teacher and Specials Team Lead. During summer breaks, she worked with numerous educational outreach organizations, including Science Matters is Colorado, Science Adventures, Summer Scholars and Arts Street. Tiffany transitioned from the classroom to develop K-8 science curriculum and programming for Champions Science Adventures and Knowledge Universe, where she co-authored teacher manuals, training guides, video training guides and student materials for a variety of educational providers.

Tiffany is currently back where her love for science education began and her heart always remains - with LSOP. She is working on the Little Shop Denver start-up, as well as writing website content, developing teacher workshops, giving science presentations and helping out at various LSOP events. Her goal is to create a science outreach program in the Denver area similar to Little Shop of Physics in Fort Collins.  Wish her luck!


Heather Michalak
Outreach Coordinator

Heather received her undergraduate in Physics at Colorado State University. She worked with Little Shop of Physics while an undergraduate and was with the crew on their first t-shirt tie dying adventure! Working with Little Shop of Physics transformed the way she thought about physics. When shopping she often thinks about how an everyday object can be modified to teach physics. Besides a passion for teaching science Heather enjoys skiing, tending her garden, and long nights gazing at the stars.

Adam Adam Pearlstein

Assistant Director

MS in Physics, Teacher of Physics and Math at Denver Jewish Day School
Past President of American Association of Physics Teachers Colorado/Wyoming section

Career plans: Though I'm not sure what I want to do when I grow up, I certainly plan on teaching a lot between now and then. Science and kids, woo! 
How did you get involved with LSOP: I initially began volunteering with Little Shop when I was a graduate student at CSU and I've been on the road as much as possible ever since!
Experiment you made: My favorite project that I made is the mini gravity well. I haven't built too many projects. As far as favorite projects, I like
the wave machine. The first time I played with it, I spent 10 minutes
thinking about why it actually makes physical sense.
Favorite LSOP memory: I have so many amazing memories working with Little Shop. Every time a child sees something that amazes them or figures something out about the world for the first time is just an amazing experience to share. Being invited to other schools and seeing a diversity of
culture and different areas of the country has been a unique and
wonderful experience

Interns & Volunteers


Sean B.
Physics Major

Career plans: to be a K-12 science teacher
How did you get involved in LSOP: My dad was in LSOP and always talked about it.  When I started at CSU I stopped by and they put me to work!
Experiment you made: Dizzy Fish


Ryan C.

Mechanical Engineering Major
Career Plans:  I plan to work on flight control systems for aircraft.
How did you get involved with LSOP: 
I had my first experience my freshman year in my physics lab.  I fell in love right away.  I saw they had an opening for an internship and applied right away.
Experiment you made: 
None yet,  but I am working on a spinning color wheel experiment and a polarized light artwork project.
Favorite LSOP memory: 
Pogo sticking in front of the physics building for the Little Shop podcast.
Alta Zach D.
Career plans:
How did you get involved in LSOP:
Favorite LSOP memory:
Alta Brittany D.
Career plans:
How did you get involved in LSOP:
Favorite LSOP memory:

Oliver H.
Front Range Community College Student

Career plans: Creative work through video and photography.
How did you get involved in LSOP: Brian saw my interest in LSOP when I
was in elementary school, and suggested I start volunteering. 11 or so
years later, I can say that I've volunteered with LSOP through most of
my K-12 years and plan to continue volunteering.
Experiment you made: A xylophone out of wrenches named Wrenchimes.
Also lots of chaos theory machines.
Favorite LSOP memory: Being able to get up in front of my own
classmates in Jr. High and demonstrate physics with LSOP was amazing.
More recently, I had the opportunity to work with high speed video
cameras and get some great footage for the 2011 Open House with the
help of some other Little Shop folks. Helping to run the "Slow Motion
Commotion" room for kids during the Open House was a great

Ashley Ashley I.
Biomedical Sciences
Career plans: Veterinary medicine or some kind of research
How did you get involved in LSOP: I started volunteering with LSOP in spring of 2010.  I liked the people and the overall atmosphere in Little Shop.
Experiment you made: Lightning Tubes for the EveryDay Science show!
Favorite LSOP memory: Volunteering at my first Open House last year was awesome.  I was amazed at how much fun everyone was having learning about different aspects of science.  It's amazing how Little Shop of Physics can bring so many different people together!
Haeli Haeli L.
Anthropology Major
Career plans: I'm planing on going into sometype of non-profit work, probably relating to sustainable international development
How Did You Get involved with LSOP?: I found out about LSOP when I visited CSU for the first time during a tour of the physics department (at the time I was planning on going into physics)
Experiment you made: Camera Head
Favorite LSOP Memory: An elemetary school visit where I first had a kindergartner lead me around the room by the hand asking me about every project after I explained one to her and then a little later having a second grader say " I want to scientist just like you when I grow up." There is nothing better than seeing the wonder and excitement of science on young faces. 

Kenn L.
Physics Graduate

Career plans: I am working on a Masters in Physics... and then we'll see.
How did you get involved in LSOP: I was a member of the Society of Physics Students, and Brian stopped by and told the group a little about LSOP. I decided to check it out, liked it, and have spent the last couple years working with the program!
Experiment you made: "Lightbulb Laser Art". For fun, I built a few of my own over the last few years. They make great gifts!
Favorite LSOP moment: Every now and then, we get to share LSOP with some really excited kids. They grab you by the hand, and pull you to each experiment, asking you to show it to them. Seeing their faces light up at each new station is great!

Alta Jenna M.
Mechanical Engineering, Space science
Career plans: I’m going to get my double engineering degree, be an astronaut, and then try to do work for SETI.  After that maybe I’ll record a CD or write a novel, who knows, maybe both!
How did you get involved in LSOP:  I was constructing a resume on day, realized it was short and thought, “What can I get involved in that will be fun and thought provoking?”  Then I emailed Brian and got to it!
Favorite LSOP memory:  Once a group of third graders was leaving after a long day of science, and one little girl came up and hugged my legs, then her friends hugged my legs.  It was like an impenetrable wall of affection, not to mention adorable!
Alta Maria S.

Career plans:
How did you get involved with LSOP:
Experiment you made:
Favorite LSOP memory:

Alta Emily Z.
Mechanical Engineering 

Career plans: My current goal is to graduate from CSU with my major in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in Global Environmental Sustainability. From there, who knows what will happen. I would love to work with renewable energy sources or possibility go to grad school and study Geoenvironmental Engineering. I would love to continue working with kids and be a girl’s hockey coach after college.
How did you get involved with LSOP: The Little Shop of Physics set up their shop in my physics lab my freshmen year at CSU. I thought it was really cool, so when the opportunity came about to get involved with the program, I talked to Brian and was in!
Experiment you made: Something spectacular is still in the building stages in my mind.
Favorite LSOP memory: Every Tuesday lunch. You learn something new every time!

Little Shop Alumni and Alumnae


Cherie B.
Little Shop Intern 2004 - 2006, Teacher in Residence 2011 - 2012

Cherie grew up in Eastern Colorado, and has returned to her home state after teaching high school science in Minnesota for 6 years. She has always enjoyed teaching, from her high school days of teaching Sunday School, to working with Little Shop of Physics as an undergraduate, and recently the formal classroom setting, and informal science presentations at local science conventions. "What's so great about teaching is the difference you can make every single day," says Cherie. Cherie credits her undergraduate work with Brian Jones, Director of Little Shop of Physics, as a life-changing event. "Not only did Little Shop bring back for me a joy of Science, but I saw first-hand what good science teaching looks like."  Cherie has recently returned to work with Little Shop of Physics in a different role, as Coordinator of Curriculum and Instruction.

The knowledge and experience she has gained from her classroom experience have served her well in her position with Little Shop of Physics. She works closely with local schools, developing teacher workshops in high-need areas, and works hard to get instructional resources in the hands of teachers. "My work evolves to meet the needs of teachers and students. Teachers are often too busy to seek out new resources and new ideas, and that's where I come in," says Cherie.

When not teaching, Cherie enjoys traveling, reading, listening to music, watching movies, trying new restaurants, spending time with friends and family, and watching the summer thunderstorms roll in.


Matthew C.

Career Plans: I am hoping to be a nurse or start a computer/video game company.
How you got involved with LSOP: I got involved at the suggestion of my seminar teacher. She thought that I'd be a good fit for the Little Shop...and she was right!
Experiment you made: The project I am most proud of right now is the NEW tornado box :D
Favorite LSOP memory: High speed filming with Lindsay for the EveryDay Science show

Forrest Forrest C.
Physics and Mechanical Engineering
Future Plans: To be awesome!  But really, I want to work in sustainability to make sure that the planet I love so much today is just as awesome for everyone in the future.
How did you get involved: I got involved when I asked Richard Eykholt where a good place to work would be, and he said to go check out the LSOP. I came in for an interview in November of 2009 and got to intern for the spring 2010 semester. Its been one of the best jobs I have ever had.
Favorite project: I have always loved the Plasma Balls ever since I was a little kid, so those are my favorite projects.  I got to rebuild the Telsataro, which has the guts of a plasma ball covered in stuffed hamster; that was pretty cool.
Favorite Little Shop moment: Every time you see that  "I just got it" look on a kids face. Some of the least interested kids would surprise me the most with that look.  Its pure discovery, and your not only there to see it happen, but you made it possible. I think that is such a cool feeling.
Kristen Kristen D.
Career Plans: Travel the world, work in environmental education
How you got involved with LSOP: I heard about LSOP because I was in Brian's 121/122 class. I started volunteering in the spring of 2010 and was an intern in 2010/2011.
Favorite experiment: Swirl 'n' Hurl!
Favorite LSOP memory: I love building projects because I like to troubleshoot and figure out how to make things work.
Jeff D.
Jeff has worked with Little Shop of Physics since he was about 12 years old! In addition to being a co-star on the Flight episode of EveryDay Science, Jeff has built many of the projects that travel to schools every week!

Jeff has enlisted in the Navy and we hope his Little Shop experience will serve him well! (Note: submarines can not be fixed with duct tape alone!)
Amanda Gossel

Amanda G.
Graduated 2010, Natural Science Major with Emphasis in Secondary Biology Education

Career plans: To be a high school science teacher, currently student teaching
How did you get involved in LSOP: I met Brian at a luncheon and working for Little Shop sounded like a great experience! 

I love to see students get excited about science. When their faces light up it makes my day. I think it is important for children to realize that science is something that anyone can do and LSOP helps them to see this.
Helen Helen H.
Colton Colton F.
Physics Major
Colton worked with Little Shop in 2010/2011. Recently Colton has been experimenting with producing energy from broken scanners!
Nikki Nikki G.
Health and Exercise Science Major - concentration in Sports Medicine
Career plans: Hoping to become a pediatric physical therapist
How did you get involved in LSOP: I loved what Little Shop does so I contacted Brian and that was that!
Favorite LSOP memory: I love that I get to travel and see kids and see their reaction when something surprises them.

Doug J-G.
English Education MA

Career plans: I plan to make it to a famous mountain on six of the seven continents (two down, four to go!) and I intend to be a great English teacher. I'm not sure which goal will be easier to attain.
Experiment you made: My favorite project was definitely the motorized phenakistoscope. It was the hardest and most frustrating, but finishing it was a great feeling. I'm proud of it.
Favorite LSOP memory: My favorite memory of LSOP is from my second week working here. I was working with everybody else at the fixup table, and the camaraderie was particularly strong. It was the first time that I really felt like I was part of this amazing group of people.

Christa Christa K.
Graduated 2009 
Little Shopper from 2007-2009

SueEllen K.

Little Shopper from 2012-2013


Nanjoo K.
Visiting Scientist

Nanjoo spent a year on sabbatical from her position at the Gyeongin National University of Education in South Korea working with the Little Shop of Physics. Although Nanjoo has years of experience teaching at all age levels, she states that being on the road with Little Shop of Physics was an unforgettable experience imbedded with innumerable life lessons.  Nanjoo has returned to her post in South Korea and, like all our LSOP family members who have moved on, she will be missed.  (read more...)
Nisse Lee

Nisse L.
Graduated 2008, Little Shopper from 2004-2012

Nisse began as an intern with LSOP while working on her Bachelors degree in Physics. After graduating in 2008, she came back on as a professional. "This is one of the most amazing and enlightening experiences I've ever had," she says about her time with the program. "Little Shop is more than a job. It's a family. I have learned and grown so much during my time there. I know that part of my heart will always be tie-dye."
Jeremy Jeremy M.
Physics and Natural Science Education major
What You're Doing Now: Student teaching at Berthoud High School
How you got involved in LSOP:  Being a physics major I hang around this part of campus a lot and couldn't help but learn about the LSOP. I became intrigued and started asking people about it and before I knew it I was talking to Brian about it.
Little Shop Last Word: There was one girl who was very intrigued and very helpful offering to help us when we were setting up and after.  I asked if she'd seen the Little Shop before and she said she always goes to the Open House and that she wants to be in the Little Shop some day."That's my dream," she said.  She eventually got to be on the TV show.  That's my favorite memory.
Sam Sam O.
Career plans: I plan on attending graduate school at the University of Washington in Seattle. For a career, I either want to be a pre-history and guitar teacher, open a recording studio/record shop, or work for NASA. Can't decide :)
How did you get involved in LSOP: I originally started grading papers for PH122 for Brian Jones in January 2010 and I got upgraded to intern for Fall 2010!
Experiment you made: I love the rain gauge I made for the weather show because it's bright yellow and blue.  My favorite project is Teslataro because he's tasla-dorable!
Favorite LSOP moment: I love going into the shop on Tuesdays to do arts and crafts (working on demos), because I get to spend time with our wonderful family! And I also get to name every song that comes on the radio ;)

Zach P.
Computer Science

Career plans: Probably something like network management but I'm not sure yet!
How did you get involved in LSOP: Lupe from El Centro thought that Little Shop would be a good fit for me - and she was right!
Chris Chris P.
Mechanical engineering and mathematics

Career plans: Working in an engineering field
How did you get involved with LSOP: I found out about Little Shop of Physics when I was a student at Front Range Community College, and my professor, Wilson Winner, brought my class to see the Little Shop at CSU. Later, I applied for an internship, and I've been working with the Little Shop ever since.
Experiment you made: Vortex Cannon
Favorite LSOP memory: Working with Little Shop allows me to be around a very positive group with an endless love for science.

Sarah the Fantastic

Sarah P.
Graduated 2010, Chemical and Biological Engineering

Career plans: Teaching chemistry to students in Tanzania with the Peace Corps.
Experiment you made: Magnamites & Magnetites

How you got involved: I first saw LSOP when I was a Freshman and they came into the dorm I was living.  It always seemed so cool, so one day I emailed Brian and started volunteering in Fall 2009.  Best job ever, hands down.
Favorite LSOP memory:
My favorite part of LSOP, is working in the shop every week making and fixing up projects, then getting to go to schools and witnessing the excitement and happiness students get from the project that you helped make or fix.  It's awesome.

Nicole Prentice

Nicole P.
Graduated 2009 - Bachelors of Science in Biological Sciences, Minors in Biomedical Science and Spanish
Little Shopper from 2007-2009

What You're Doing Now: I am working at Swedish Medical Center as a Patient Care Tech (Nurse Aide)
How you got involved in LSOP:  I took Brian's class for 1 year and then saw a flyer for internships with LSOP and asked Brian if I could be a part of it without being a physics major. Without doing cheerleading, I was able to be a part of something great for 2 years (late 2007- early 2009)


Nicole P.
Graduated 2010, Zoology Major, Nutrition Minor

Career plans: After graduating in May I will be taking a year off to work full time and become a Colorado resident. I then plan to begin graduate school to receive my Masters in Education and teacher liscense to teach lower elementary children.
How did you get involved in LSOP: I took physics from Brian Jones and heard about working with Little Shop.
Experiment you made: I loved working on the density bottles because they never did what I expected them to do.
Favorite LSOP memory: I don't remember what school we were at but it was an elementary school and one of the 1st graders had on a pair of light-up shoes and when she touched the plasma experiments her shoes would light up! All the kids and Little Shoppers thought it was pretty awesome.

Lori Lori P.
Alta Zack R.

Hello I'm Zack! I was born on October 3rd, 1991 at 12:58 PM in Carrolton, Texas. Fast foward a score of years and here I am, a sophomore physics major at CSU. As far as career plans go I want to get a PhD in physics and do research or teach. Currently I'm leaning towards studying Condensed Matter Physics in graduate school, but we'll see where I end up. I got involved with Little Shop my freshman year after hearing about what they were from around the department and became an internship this past fall. My favorite part about LSOP is 1) Getting to work with physics on a qualitative rather than a quantitative level. It's nice to be able to step away from the mathematical side of physics and just mess around with projects and observe the beauty that is our universe and 2) Getting to see the excitement on kids faces when they see a cool project and lead you by the hand around the room trying to explain how everything works! Lastly, while it is hard to pick a favorite project, the current gallop poll does indicate that Wave Machine is super awesome

Lindsay Simpson

Lindsay S.
Technical Journalism/Wildlife Biology

Career plans: To produce scientific videos
Experiment you made: Shooting high speed videos of things splashing, bouncing, squishing!  It's awesome!
Favorite LSOP memory: Lifting a pumpkin with balloons at Rice Elementary School as part of the 10th anniversary of the EveryDay Science show.


Ben S.

Career plans: I am trying to become a doctor so I can help create healthy communities and people. Currently I am the Community Outreach Coordinator at the Sexual Assault Victim Advocate Center (SAVA).
Experiment you made: The Sand Shaker, with special assistance from CSU physics machinist-extraordinaire, Bob Adame!

How you got involved: Came to the tie dye event in 2009 and haven't looked back!
Favorite LSOP memory: Every time I walk into the LSOP I get filled up with enthusiasm for exploring everything!  That is a great reminder to explore everything.  For example, I met someone who also loves to make yogurt!  Lots to figure out in making yogurt.

I love that I get to be a part of a community that thinks children's
lives and children's experiences matter!
Alta Robin T.
Career plans: Teaching, tutoring, gymnastics coach, kids camp counselor, Super Home Executive... We'll see!
How did you get involved with LSOP: I attended a undergrad research options recruiting session, but I did not find anything interesting to me. That is, until I saw Brian Jones wheeling a massive piece of equipment (I think it was a Van der Graff generator) back into the LSOP room. I started volunteering the next week, and they have not managed to get rid of me yet.
Experiment you made: Secret Agent Ultraviolet
Favorite LSOP memory: Attending my first formal meeting around a large, professional looking table, turning off the lights, and blowing raspberries at "Photographic Memory."

Francesca V.
Tate Tate V.
Biological sciences major, biomedical sciences minor
Graduated Spring 2011
Future Plans: I will hopefully be in the Peace Corps in Latin America or Africa for two years after I graduate.  After that, I'm planning on applying to medical school!
I started working with LSOP a year ago when I started Brian Jones' class, PH 121. I wanted to get involved with teaching kids to develop a passion for science... what a fun way to get involved too! The whole LSOP staff is amazing, and I loved it from day #1!
My favorite LSOP memory was when I traveled to Pueblo. I loved working with the older High School students down there because it was a completely different dynamic than working with elementary students. It's fun to see their eyes light up in response to what we are teaching them! Physics is all around us, and it's amazing to be able to show people that.
Kirk W. Kirk W.
History major, Uber-Volunteer the Second

Kirk has been volunteering with the Little Shop of Physics since 2010 and has built many of the projects for the traveling program. After spending almost a whole semester building strobe lights from scratch, Kirk has earned the title of Solder King.


Paul W.
Professor of Physics, Austin Community College

Paul spent his sabbatical year from ACC with LSOP and hopes to create a Little Shop of Physics in Austin!  When asked what his favorite project right now is, Paul simply replies: "I'm really groovin' on the Sunset Egg."

The ACC branch is called ACCHOS: Austin Community College Hands on Science and is going strong!
This page is still under construction - many more friends and faces will appear!


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