The People’s Science Fair
Friday, April 28, Noon to 4 p.m.
Between the Campus Pond and Du Bois Library — coincides with Founders’ Day Cookout and Student Farmers’ Market!
ABOUT THE FAIR
The People’s Science Fair, organized by Western Mass Science for the People, will showcase diverse efforts by Western Massachusetts residents to harness STEM for social, economic, racial, environmental, climate, and cultural justice. Participants will include campus-based researchers with justice-oriented projects, grassroots organizers whose work involves STEM knowledge, and student activists committed to building a just future.
Tables will represent a wide range of projects and offer many opportunities for cross-pollination between:
- sustainable agriculture and farmworker justice
- demilitarization and climate action
- community-based medicine and health equity
- science education, the arts, and social justice
- labor unions and anti-racist organizing in STEM
- prison and police abolition, and building systems for community care
- history, anthropology, and science activism
- and much more!
The People’s Science Fair welcomes college students, faculty, and staff; community organizers; K-12 classes; and everyone interested in justice-oriented STEM.
MEET THE TABLERS
Western Mass Science for the People
Western Mass Science for the People is one of more than a dozen active chapters in the newly revitalized SftP. The organization originally arose in 1969 out of the anti-war movement and lasted until 1989. With radical analysis and non-hierarchical governing structure, Science for the People tackled the militarization of scientific research, the corporate control of research agendas, the political implications of sociobiology and other scientific theories, the environmental consequences of energy policy, inequalities in health care, and many other issues. Since 2015, SftP veterans have collaborated with a new generation of SftP members to explore the history of radical science and to rebuild the organization for today. Science for the People organizes scientists, activists, students, and scholars to face these issues head-on in research institutions, universities, and communities.
H.O.P.E: Humans for the Opposition of Pollution and Emissions
“H.O.P.E.: Humans for the Opposition of Pollution and Emissions, is a non-profit organization dedicated to investigating, evaluating, and improving environmental justice conditions in Massachusetts. Founded by a group of passionate scientists, environmental activists, and community leaders, HOPE is dedicated to developing and researching solutions to address complex environmental challenges. Through our workshop series, HOPE offers engaging and accessible training in the latest research and techniques that mitigate exposure to climate hazards and minimize environmental degradation.
In addition to program and service, we are also actively engaged in advocacy and policy work to promote environmental justice at the local, state, and national levels. By working collaboratively with community groups, government agencies, and other stakeholders, we seek to identify and address the root causes of environmental injustices and promote equitable and sustainable solutions. Our work is grounded in a commitment to scientific rigor, community engagement, and making scientific research more accessible and available. Whether you are a student, a scientist, or a concerned citizen, HOPE is a great pathway for engaging with and learning about environmental justice
Citizens Awareness Network
Citizens Awareness Network is a New England grassroots environmental organization working to end the production of unaffordable, dangerous nuclear waste and power, and its waste. CAN advocates for a sustainable, reliable, and just energy future and is committed to a democratically led and scientifically sound solution for nuclear waste.
Citizens Awareness Network:
• tells the truth about dangerous nuclear power and works to end its use
• advocates for responsible management of nuclear waste
• promotes nuclear-free and carbon-free energy
• fights for a sustainable, environmentally just future
UMass Environmental and Social Action Movement (ESAM)
We support environmental and social justice by learning together, taking action, building alliances with campus and community groups, and bargaining with the administration around climate and climate justice proposals. As a coalition with strong multi-union participation, we especially seek to leverage our power to bargain with the administration around climate justice proposals that support our campus goal of carbon neutrality by 2032, including good union job opportunities, healthy buildings, clean and accessible transportation, and divestment from financial institutions that fund planetary destruction. Our current campaigns include: Kick Climate Criminals Off Campus; Just and Sustainable Transportation; Greater Community Solidarity, and Voter Education.
Arise for Social Justice
Arise for Social Justice started as a poor people’s rights organization and over the last 30 years has evolved to battle white supremacy and inequity in many arenas. Arise’s Environmental justice campaign has included fighting against the biomass plant, opposing the proposed new high pressure pipeline, and conducting community education and political advocacy on the hazards of mold contamination in indoor spaces. As we move forward, Arise is dedicated to ensuring that Springfield residents are involved in climate justice decision making.
Amherst College Climate Justice Now Course
We are a group of two professors and 12 students developing shareable guides to climate action that grapple with the scale of the challenge while remaining rooted in the evidence about how big changes can be effectively made.
We envision a US energy transition that confronts and repairs inequities and injustices in the energy system and contributes to economic inclusion, equality, and justice while achieving the rapid and effective decarbonization essential to protect human and environmental well-being. We envision a system of scholarship, debate, and public and private decision-making about energy that promotes justice and shared prosperity. Our mission is to enable a fast and fair transition to a decarbonized energy system in the United States. We do stakeholder-engaged interdisciplinary research at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, with a dual focus on technology systems and human systems to enable an equitable energy transition. ELEVATE is a graduate training and research program within ETI focusing on technical, equity, and climate challenges in the energy transition.
Miller Worley Center for the Environment (Mount Holyoke College)
Creating a greener and more equitable world, the Miller Worley Center for the Environment prepares environmental leaders for today and the future by promoting a culture of environmental sustainability and justice on campus and beyond. We advance our ideals through environmental literacy and critical thinking, sustainable community building, student action and leadership in the service of all generations. The Miller Worley Center enables students to make connections — across disciplines, across points of view, across constructs — that help them understand the concept of “environment” more broadly in their work, community, and lives.
Engineers Without Borders – Kenya Project
Engineers Without Borders strives to use their technical skills to provide communities access to basic human necessities. EWB UMass’s Kenya Project is partnered with the community of Nguluni, Kenya. Throughout the 8-year-long partnership, EWB UMass has worked with Nguluni’s community members to build a borehole pump and kiosk, 3 km of water distribution pipeline, 5 rainwater catchment systems, a solar powered pump, and repairs to many facilities. The team has developed a strong relationship with students from the University of Nairobi as the UMass team had to adjust to remote work due to COVID-19. The UoN students were incredibly helpful in installing an extension to the water distribution system and performing monitoring work such as water quality testing and community member surveys. In 2023, students from UMass visited Nguluni for the first time since 2020 where they were successful in collecting updated GPS data, water quality information, and community surveys. The team determined that the community has become highly self sufficient as they have made numerous additions to the system including a 2.5km extension of the water distribution system. This discovery has led EWB UMass to finalize the close out agreement of the project which states that EWB UMass will continue to provide technical advice and guidance to the community despite the end to the official EWB partnership.
Sunrise UMass works to make UMass a more sustainable university by engaging students in positive climate action.
Wendell State Forest Alliance
The Wendell State Forest Alliance formed to protect the ecological diversity and integrity of living systems on public lands currently known as the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Alliance recognizes the urgent need to protect Earth and all her inhabitants from the disastrous effects of climate change and biodiversity loss. We support safeguarding forests from commercial exploitation to allow them to develop to their fullest potential. Keeping forests wild, a policy of Proforestation, is the most effective and least costly way to maximize public benefits from our public forests.
AGRICULTURAL SUSTAINABILITY AND FOOD JUSTICE
Stockbridge School of Agriculture
Stockbridge integrates three focus areas: sustainable food and landscapes; soils and the environment; and plant health. Stockbridge researchers address critical issues in global food security, specifically with research on soil health and fertility, plant stress, pest impacts on growth and productivity, and identification and mitigation of soil and water pollutants; UMass Carbon Farming Initiative
Nuestras Raíces (NR) is an urban center for food access and education circa 1992. As a grassroots agricultural nonprofit, NR has built food system resiliency via its network of community gardens and its 30-acre urban farm, La Finca. La Finca provides prime farmland to 12+ diverse farmer businesses. NR further supports the community with business classes, commercial kitchen rentals, and HIP-eligible produce boxes.
Riquezas Del Campo
We are a worker owned and managed farming cooperative. Many or our members are from the Latinx community; some have had jobs in farming. We envision a place where people run their own business, a place where the community participates and benefits from the cooperative model as a work model, a place where decisions are made democratically, a place where everyone can learn and be valued, an alternative system to capitalism.
Multidisciplinary Psychedelic Club
The Multidisciplinary Psychedelic Club is a community of students interested in the healing potential of psychedelic substances and non-substance states of consciousness. The club’s foremost pillars are discussion and education, with our events being centered around psychedelic related presentations, circle discussions and other social gatherings. The club is not a UMass RSO but has amassed a large student following, with about 25-30 members attending per week, and some of our events in the past reaching 50-100 people. We ultimately seek to educate people about harm reduction and other topics.
University of Massachusetts Emergency Medical Services
The members of the University of Massachusetts Amherst Emergency Medical Services Agency commit to serving the University community via providing professional and cooperative service, ensuring the medical safety of all encountered patrons within the Emergency Medical Technician scope of practice and by providing continuous health education to the community.
The Wildflower Alliance supports healing and empowerment for our broader communities and people who have been impacted by psychiatric diagnosis, trauma, extreme states, homelessness, problems with substances and other life-interrupting challenges. We do this through: Peer-to-peer support & genuine human relationships; Alternative Healing Practices; Learning Opportunities; Advocacy. Essential to our work is recognizing and undoing systemic injustices such as racism, sexism, ableism, transphobia, transmisogyny, and psychiatric oppression.
The Jandon Center: STEAM Team
The Jandon Center engages faculty, students, and community partners on social-change projects that tackle community-driven goals. Through experiential learning and scholarship, students build essential capacities in critical thinking while providing significant leadership on urgent, complex issues facing communities and society. The STEAM Team is a sub-category comprised of students participating in outreach initiatives at Smith and the surrounding communities. The current projects range from robotics, engineering, biology, and art pop-ups but all follow a central theme: to increase access to STEAM initiatives through collegiate-led programming.
TERC works at the frontiers of theory and practice to develop a deeper understanding of learning and teaching; enhance instruction through teacher professional development; develop applications of new technologies in education; create curricula and other products; and support reform in both institutional and informal settings. TERC imagines a future in which learners from diverse communities engage in creative, rigorous, and reflective inquiry as an integral part of their lives—a future where teachers and students join together in vibrant communities where questioning, problem solving, and experimentation are commonplace. This vision is grounded in the belief that science and math literacies are critical to strengthening and preserving a democratic society.
Umass Amherst Libraries — Science & Engineering Library
The Science and Engineering Library provides library services, spaces, collections, and programs that support the science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) and health sciences disciplines’ faculty and students, campus partners, and community members. We support open science as a pathway for ensuring that research results are shared promptly and openly with the public and look for ways to embed sustainability into our programs. For this year’s Science Fair SEL will highlight initiatives such as The Mass Aggie Seed Library, the Undergraduate Sustainability Research Awards, and City Nature Challenge! The Mass Aggie Seed Library provides patrons with the equipment needed for seed saving and harvesting, over 200 educational books, workshops, an exhibit gallery, and puzzles. The Undergraduate Sustainability Award promotes in-depth understanding of sustainability topics, research strategies, and the use of library resources, providing participating students with vital skills they will carry into future academic and vocational endeavors. The City Nature Challenge is a friendly competition and community-building event among cities across the globe to see which city can find and document the most wildlife over a four-day period.
Center for Education Policy and Advocacy
CEPA is a student power organization that believes in building grassroots power movements to expand the political consciousness of the campus. We train, educate, and mobilize students around issues of education justice in order to shift the dynamics of power and make concrete change within higher education and beyond. The Food Justice campaign works to ensure that the community has access to nourishing, affordable food, as well as taking steps to end UMass’s exclusive pouring rights contract with Coca Cola.
Historians and STS for the People
Historians of science and scholars in the field of science and technology studies have vital roles to play in movements to mobilize STEM for social justice. Increasingly, we have ceased writing “origin stories” that justify our existing knowledge systems as the inevitable results of steady progress over time. Instead, we highlight how ideas and practices have differed across time and space, and thus the contingency of our current situations. Any work that opens our minds to the variety of past experiences, and thus the range of possibilities before us, serves the work of social and political transformation. But some scholars take a more direct approach. We trace the roots of current systems of exploitation and injustice, helping to explain how we got into the messes we find ourselves in… and how we might get out. We document activist struggles to ensure that new generations can build and improve on the work of their predecessors. We map out activist scholarly agendas. And we write people’s histories and ethnographies of science that recognize the contributions of farmers, workers, hobbyists, and others to the knowledge we collectively share.
Revolutionary Marxist Students
We are dedicated to learning marxist history and theory in order to put it into practice. Society at present is rotten to its core and we believe the only way to change it is by engaging in the class struggle for liberation.
UMass Donahue Institute
Our mission is to advance equity and social justice, foster healthy communities, and support inclusive economies that alleviate poverty and promote opportunity. In collaboration with partner organizations and clients, we carry out our mission through research, education and training, capacity building, and direct services to strengthen our collective impact.
SACNAS Chapter at UMass Amherst
SACNAS is an inclusive organization dedicated to fostering the success of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans, from college students to professionals, in attaining advanced degrees, careers, and positions of leadership in STEM. Everyone is welcome to become a SACNAS member, regardless of gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, race, national origin or ancestry, ethnicity, or religion. Our UMass SACNAS Chapter aims to provide students with the opportunities and resources they need to advance in their education and careers through support attending conferences, professional workshops, leadership programs, Outreach community programs and more. We look forward to welcoming you to our UMass SACNAS family!
Graduate Students of Color Association GSCA
The GSCA was founded in Fall 2012 in response to a call for a greater sense of community amongst graduate students of color at UMass Amherst. The GSCA seeks build and sustain a supportive community for graduate students of color that contributes to their academic development, social growth, and well-being. We are committed to increasing the enrollment, retention, and success of people of color at the graduate student level, as well as at all levels of the university. Looking to the future, The GSCA aims to actively promote events on campus that bring attention to issues of diversity. Additionally, the GSCA seeks to increase enrollment and retention of graduate students of color, by organizing professional workshops, promoting mentoring, and providing a social network for graduate students of color to meet and work with others who share their academic and personal interests. Membership is open to all graduate students, regardless of racial or ethnic background.
Graduate Employee Organization
GEO is the union for graduate employees at UMass Amherst, and is a loud and proud unit of United Auto Workers Local 2322! We represent teaching assistants, teaching associates, research assistants, project assistants, assistant residence directors, graduate interns, fellows, and trainees. GEO was started in 1991, and since then members of this union have consistently fought for and won better compensation and working conditions with every new Collective Bargaining Agreement. GEO protects workers’ rights to a safe and equitable workplace.
Massachusetts Peace Action Cuba Subcommittee
MAPA is a statewide peace and justice organization. In asking for a table at the People’s Science Fair we are aware of co founder Dick Levin’s long association with Cuba and Cuba’s agroecology, biodiversity and science. Our literature will call for an end to the US Embargo of Cuba and also have available some of Dick’s writings on Cuba, including “Cuba, Ecology and the Need for a Dialectical Approach”.
UMass Dissenters is a new movement at UMass fighting to end the universities ties to war and militarism.
Demilitarize Western Massachusetts
The demilitarization team is a collective of anti-war, anti-imperialist, and abolitionist activists who confront the military-industrial complex in our communities through education, advocacy, divestment, and direct action. Our collective is currently exposing L3Harris––one of the top weapons contractors in the world with a branch in Northampton, Mass., a city which prides itself on so-called “progressive” values. The military and the carceral state depend on the lie that war, incarceration, policing, and occupation keep us safe. As abolitionists, we aim to redefine safety as taking care of one another in our communities and around the globe, rather than relying on fear and divisions that create borders, prisons, and military occupation. We envision a world free from the stronghold of US imperialism, settler colonialism, and the military-industrial complex. We oppose weapons contractors like L3Harris everywhere, not just in Northampton. Our work is based on the belief that abolition of weapons contractors is the only way forward. We join in solidarity with other local peace groups and Mass Peace Action at rallies and events. We’re a member of the national War Industry Resisters’ Network. We welcome all who’d like to join us! Demilitarizewesternmass@gmail.com</p?
PRISON ABOLITION AND COMMUNITY CARE
Northampton Abolition Now
Northampton Abolition Now organizes to move money from the police into programs that make our community truly safe and help all of us to thrive.
Decarcerate Western Mass Bailout Project
The Decarcerate Western Mass Bailout Project (decarceratewesternmass.org) is a volunteer-run abolitionist group organizing for decarceration in Franklin and Hampshire County. Since our founding in February 2021, we have bailed out over 110 people. We are a non-judgmental bail fund; we do not factor charges, court history, and circumstance in posting bail.
We envision long-term and sustainable networks of mutual support and care. We know that mutual support, or mutual aid, is already and has always been essential to human life. We’re hoping to be a reminder and an inspiration to expand the best human qualities like generosity, sharing, creativity, adaptability, and curiosity.
UMass Mutual Aid Project
Our goal is to create a welcoming environment where UMass community members can participate in a mutual aid space and build relationships with one another. One of our main projects is a biweekly “thing swap.” We hope to facilitate an non-capitalist exchange of goods and services, ultimately aiming for participants to envision an anti-capitalist society.
Touch the Sky
We are a network of organizers, unhoused people, workers, students, and artists dedicated to mobilizing resources in the upper Pioneer Valley. The initiatives we work on grow out of the direct requests and knowledge from unhoused people, with the understanding that unhoused and housing insecure people can an must lead the fight to end houselessness and poverty. Touch the Sky provides weekly meals and medical/harm reduction supply distribution and focuses on building meaningful relationships.
People’s Science Network (of Science for the People)
Five Colleges, Inc. (Five College Lecture Fund)
At UMass Amherst: Department of Afro-American Studies; Anthropology Department; Civic Engagement & Service Learning; Department of Earth, Geographic, and Climate Sciences; Education, Policy, and Research Administration Department; Energy Transition Institute; Ethnography Collective @ UMASS Amherst; Graduate Employee Organization; History Department; Institute for Diversity Sciences; Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning Department; Massachusetts Society of Professors; Manning College of Information and Computer Sciences; Mathematics and Statistics Department Anti-Racism Committee; Office of Research and Faculty Development; Political Economy Research Institute; Professional Staff Union; Social Thought & Political Economy Program; Stockbridge School of Agriculture; Student Development; Teacher Education and Curriculum Studies Department; Transportation Services; University Libraries; University Relations; Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies Department; World Studies Interdisciplinary Project and Mellon Foundation
At Amherst College: Center for Community Engagement
At Hampshire College: Dean of Faculty
At Mount Holyoke College: Miller Worley Center for the Environment and Office of the Provost and Dean of Faculty
At Smith College: Center for Environment, Ecological Design, and Sustainability; Department of Environmental Science & Policy; Jandon Center for Community Engagement