People’s Science Fair 2022

People's Science Fair poster

Friday, April 8, 2022, noon to 4:00 p.m.
UMass, Goodell Lawn

ABOUT THE FAIR

MEET THE TABLERS

CO-SPONSORS

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ABOUT THE FAIR

The People’s Science Fair showcases diverse efforts by Western Massachusetts residents to harness STEM for social, economic, environmental, 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 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
  • 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

HOST

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.

HEALTH

Western Massachusetts Health Equity Network

The Western Massachusetts Health Equity Network seeks regional strategies and opportunities to create conditions in which communities are able to attain the highest level of health for all residents. To eliminate preventable inequities our work areas include: POLICY: Create a regional policy voice for Western Massachusetts cities and towns; RACIAL JUSTICE: Make racial justice a named priority in the Network’s activities; MEANINGFUL DATA COLLECTION: Support collection and sharing of meaningful data that emphasizes the voices of often marginalized communities; CROSS-SECTOR COLLABORATION: Build on cross-sector collaborations to include planners, funders, public health, hospitals and health care, and community development corporations.

Wildflower Alliance

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.

UMass Amherst Elaine Marieb College of Nursing

Faculty, students and staff of the Elaine Marieb College of Nursing engage in the art and science of nursing across many contexts: from schools and hospitals to industry spaces and legislative bodies, to community settings and in the home. We believe in design justice: that every person can meaningfully engage in the process of design, that those who have been harmed or marginalized by current power structures should be the ones centered in design processes, and that communities should have power over deciding what are the design challenges when it comes to health and well-being, and how best to address them. Our College includes a center for nursing and engineering innovation, and a center for addressing symptom management.

EDUCATION

Smith College Museum of Art

The Smith College Museum of Art cultivates inquiry and reflection by connecting people to art, ideas and each other. We do this by:Engaging people with firsthand experiences of art, artists and museum practice; Collecting, researching, presenting and preserving an expansive collection of art in the service of learning, teaching and critical dialogu; Fostering an environment that welcomes diverse perspectives and inspires imagination. Admission to the museum is free to Five College students, staff, and faculty as well as K-12 students and teachers, and EBT and WIC card holders, as well as museum members. Our current special exhibition, Maya Lin: Mappings brings attention to environmental issues like climate change, species extinction and the relationship between humans and the world we inhabit. Visitors to the SCMA table will be invited to create a pin that reflects their connections to art and nature and social justice.

TERC

TERC is a STEM education research and development nonprofit dedicated to cultivating equitable STEM learning environments. 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 and enhancing social justice.

Smith College Jandon Center for Community Engagement’s STEAM Outreach

The original Smith College STEM team has evolved from science, technology, engineering and math to include the arts (STEAM), thereby creating a new lens by which our offerings are intended to be more diverse and holistic. Our evolving STEAM initiatives include on- and off-campus opportunities, and our connections with learning partners span multiple communities, including K–12 educational institutions to adult learning organizations. We are also widening our reach to include essential partners focused on humanitarian, social justice and environmental awareness efforts.

ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE

PERI Corporate Toxics Information Project

PERI’s Corporate Toxics Information Project develops and disseminates information and analysis on corporate releases of pollutants and the consequences for communities. Toxic pollutants prove that what you can’t see can hurt you. Pollutants released into our air and water have serious impacts on both human health and ecosystem integrity. But the fact that these pollutants are often invisible – and even when they can be seen (or smelled) are hard to track to their source – impedes efforts by communities to reclaim their right to a healthy and safe environment. Community-based environmental justice advocates across the country want and need to know what pollutants from which corporate facilities are affecting their communities, and what other communities across the country are impacted by the same corporations. This information can be a potent tool for empowering citizens to address environmental concerns that directly affect their health and their families. The Corporate Toxics Information Project analyzes and disseminates information from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on corporate releases of toxic chemicals and greenhouse gases and the resulting exposures of communities to air and water pollution hazards. The Project aims to help community-based activists and socially responsible investors to translate the right to know into the right to clean air and water. https://peri.umass.edu/corporate-toxics-information-project.

Sunrise Movement UMass Amherst

The Sunrise Movement UMass Amherst HUB is dedicated to building community with a common goal: protecting, appreciating and enriching the natural environment. We do that by working hard to make sure our University is implementing concrete actions that make tangible impact, and by organizing community events that are both fun and informative.

Arise for Social Justice Springfield

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.

MASSPIRG Students

The UMass Amherst MASSPIRG Chapter began in 1972. We are one of the oldest PIRG chapters in the country. For over 45 years, we’ve been organizing students on our campus to play an active role in making our society a better place by running local, statewide, and national campaigns on issues that affect us as students and citizens. Recently, we’ve been working get our campus to be a leader in fighting climate change by committing to get 100 percent of our energy from clean, safe, renewable sources. You may also know us from our New Voters Project, our non-partisan youth voter mobilization effort to help first-time voters have the tools they need to get registered and turn out to vote. In the 2018 elections, we helped register over 1200 students to vote and saw a 75% increase at the student-heavy polling locations near campus since the 2014 midterm elections. We are also running a campaign to make textbooks more affordable by promoting open education resources, save the bees by making UMass a bee-friendly campus, and alleviate poverty locally and across the state.

UMass Environmental and Social Action Movement

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 Bank of America Off Our Campus; Break Free From Plastics; Just and Sustainable Transportation; Listening to Community Organizers.

Citizens Awareness Network

CAN, the Citizens Awareness Network, is a grassroots environmental organization working to end the production of unaffordable and dangerous nuclear waste and power, and replace it with ecologically sustainable, reliable, and affordable energy generation.We are therefore committed to a democratically led, environmentally just, and scientifically sound, solution.

REPRESENTATION

The SACNAS Chapter at UMass Amherst

The purpose of the SACNAS (Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science) Chapter at UMass Amherst is to facilitate and support activities that foster the advancement of academic and professional success of self-identified Indigenous, Chicano, and Hispanic students pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

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.

Tejido Guajira

Displaying and selling hand-weaved handbags and hammocks by the renowned Wayuu, Arhuaco and Cancuama tribes of the northern region of Colombia. Derived straight from the hands of these indigenous tribes, shared by a direct descendant of the Wayuu and Arhuaco tribes; the descendant lives on stolen Nipmuc and Pocumtuc land.

AGRICULTURAL SUSTAINABILITY AND FOOD JUSTICE

The Compost Co-operative

We are a worker-owned cooperative that hauls food scraps for residential and commercial customers around Greenfield, MA, as we build living-wage opportunities for ownership among people coming home from jail and others who face barriers to employment.

Nuestras Raices, Inc.

Nuestras Raíces is a grassroots urban agricultural organization in Holyoke, MA. Our mission is to create healthy environments, celebrate “agri-culture,” harness our collective energy, and to advance our vision of a just and sustainable future. Through a series of community gardens in the city, we help to gather community organizers to manage the growth and distribution of fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers in several neighborhoods. Additionally, our urban farm hosts a community of farmers, educators, students, and more – with the goal of growing sustainably and teaching others to do so! The farm is located on 30 acres between Main Street and the Connecticut River, and is affectionately referred to as “La Finca” and “La Tierra de Providencia.”

Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA)

CISA strengthens farms and engages the community to build the local food economy. CISA has been working for over 25 years to build a stronger, more resilient, and more just local food system. We envision a local food system where farms are viable, working conditions are fair and just for owners and workers, the environment is respected, and locally grown food is available for all.

Coop 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.

Five Colleges Native American and Indigenous Studies
Rachel Sayet will staff a table educating fairgoers about indigenous food, seeds, and sustainability.

UMass Student Farm Enterprise

The UMass Student Farm is committed to providing our campus community with nutritious, organically grown, local produce. We cultivate student empowerment through hands-on agricultural production and by educating our peers about the importance of creating a healthier food system.

REORIENTING ACADEMIA

Institute of Diversity Science

The Institute of Diversity Sciences (IDS) is a cross-college unit at UMass Amherst that brings together faculty and students from UMass and the Five Colleges, Massachusetts educators from K-12 and community colleges, business leaders, and practitioners to: promote multidisciplinary science, engineering, and technology research that aims to advance equity in health, learning, work, and in mitigating climate change; nurture the success of students as they enter the STEM workforce through mentored research experience and opportunities to engage with visiting scientists and other professionals from underrepresented groups; connect scientific research to social justice through public engagement and outreach in order to serve communities.

Amherst Marxist Study Group

A group dedicated to learning and practicing revolutionary Marxist theory!

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.

Engineers Without Borders, UMass Amherst Student Chapter

Engineers Without Borders is a student-run organization dedicated to helping local and international communities create sustainable, community-driven solutions in order to improve their quality of life. The chapter at the University of Massachusetts Amherst operates programs in Ghana and Kenya to help locals develop clean, reliable, and convenient water infrastructure projects. The objective of our project is to increase local water storage capacity and water availability for the community of Nguluni, Kenya. EWB UMass collaborates with local government and non-governmental organizations in order to create a holistic project through the design and implementation phases. In 2021, the project had to pivot to a remote implementation in order to accommodate global health risks from the COVID-19 pandemic. The success of a remote project is based upon great communication with the community and creating a strong skill base that allows community members to facilitate implementation and maintenance of the proposed projects. As we close out the project, we hope to continue to monitor and assess the status of the implemented infrastructure remotely through the help and collaboration with students from the University of Nairobi.

AGAINST MILITARISM

BanKillerDrones.org

In solidarity with struggles for political, cultural, and economic liberation around the world, we are an international grassroots campaign committed to banning aerial weaponized drones. As with the efforts to ban other weaponry, an international campaign to ban weaponized drones and military and police surveillance drones will serve as an important organizing and educational tool to counter the false narratives promoted by those who profit economically or politically from the production and selling of weaponized drones as an easier, cheaper, and even a safer and more humane alternative to conventional war. Identifying military and police drone surveillance as an unacceptable violation of human rights will serve to stem the growth of this practice, which is surging in the U.S. and becoming a global threat.

Demilitarize Western Mass

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

CO-SPONSORS

Five Colleges, Inc.

At UMass: *Department of Afro-American Studies; *Department of Anthropology; College of Information and Computer Sciences; *School of Earth and Sustainability; Economics Department; *ELEVATE; *Ellsberg Initiative for Peace and Democracy; *Energy Transition Institute; *Department of Environmental Conservation; *Ethnography Collective @ UMASS Amherst; **Graduate Employee Organization; **History Department; **Massachusetts Society of Professors; *Department of Mathematics and Statistics; Professional Staff Union; **Social Thought & Political Economy Program; Teacher Education and Curriculum Studies Department; **Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies Department

At Smith College: Center for Environment, Ecological Design, and Sustainability; Department of Geosciences; Department of Environmental Science & Policy; *Smith Jandon Center for Community Engagement; Spatial Analysis Lab

*Hampshire College Dean of Faculty

**Co-sponsors in 2020 and 2022

*Co-sponsors in 2022