CenturyLink, Denver Broncos and CSU join forces to inspire kids with science

Little Shop of Physics kids

Students in Colorado will experience hands-on science thanks to a partnering relationship among CenturyLink, Inc., the Denver Broncos Tackle STEM program, and Colorado State University’s Little Shop of Physics (LSOP).

CenturyLink has donated $30,000 this year to the LSOP, an outreach program launched in the 1990s by CSU physics instructor Brian Jones to get K-12 students excited about and interested in science. The LSOP presents school programs and teacher workshops with the goal of making science accessible to all students. The LSOP accomplishes this work by building experiment stations made out of everyday objects that actively engage K-12 students in scientific concepts.

The Denver Broncos have been working to get Colorado kids as excited about physics and other STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) subjects as they are about football. To achieve this goal, the Broncos launched an education campaign titled Tackle STEM last year, with CenturyLink as a major sponsor, and with support from Arrow Electronics and Bayou Well Services. The mission was to engage and inspire children to pursue careers in STEM-related fields.

Strengthened partnership

This year, CenturyLink will bolster the LSOP partnership with its financial gift as well as with CenturyLink employee volunteers who will assist with science education video content creation and take part in LSOP field trips.

“Thanks to support from CenturyLink, we are thrilled to expand upon last year’s collaboration with LSOP,” said Brady Kellogg, vice president of corporate partnerships, Denver Broncos. “Research shows that positive hands-on experiences like those delivered by LSOP are strongly associated with the completion of STEM degrees. I applaud CenturyLink and LSOP for proactively taking steps to help address the rapid increase in demand for STEM talent in Colorado.”

Kids are ‘natural scientists’

The central message of the LSOP is that science is something anyone can understand, experience and explore. “Kids are natural scientists,” said LSOP Director Brian Jones. “Every day they learn about the world by experimenting and asking questions. The LSOP allows students to explore and learn physics concepts on their own terms, in a fun and engaging way. In order for the LSOP to continue this important work, we operate on donations and grant funding. This new partnership with CenturyLink and the Denver Broncos is very special. We very much appreciate their support and commitment to science education.”

LSOP will also promote CenturyLink’s other generous grant program, Teachers and Technology, which awards teachers up to $5,000 to help fund projects in their classrooms that advance student success through the innovative use of technology.

“CenturyLink is proud to partner with the Broncos and CSU’s Little Shop of Physics to engage students in our community in a truly unique and meaningful way,” said Vernon Irvin, CenturyLink’s senior vice president for small and midsize business. “Through our partnerships and community involvement such as Little Shop of Physics and CenturyLink’s Teachers and Technology grants program, we can educate and inspire students of all ages to pursue STEM-related fields. Research shows the fastest-growing and highest-paying jobs in the future will be in science, technology and engineering. Exposing students to STEM skills are of particular importance and will help shape the professionals of tomorrow.”