People’s Science Fair 2024

The People’s Science Fair


Monday, April 29, Noon to 4 p.m.

UMass Fine Arts Center Plaza — coincides with Founders’ Day Cookout!










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.








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.




Citizens Awareness Network

Citizens Awareness Network is a New England grassroots organization working to end the production of unaffordable, dangerous nuclear 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.


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: Greater Community Solidarity; Move Our Money (formerly Kick Climate Criminals off Campus); Just, Sustainable Transportation; Voter Education; Green Labs; and Restorative Practices.

To get involved with ESAM please visit


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 Environmental Justice 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.


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.



Our goal is to build an open, collaborative wildlife monitoring project that engages local community members and answers questions about the changing mammal distribution patterns across Massachusetts. We seek to do so by providing educational information about local wildlife, working with community participants to collect various forms of sightings data, and collaborating with local schools and organizations. We believe that inclusive and effective scientific practice must actively engage with individuals across a diverse range of experiences and perspectives; and our initiative constantly grows and evolves through contributions from all levels of participation in the project.



Students have the power to shape the future we will inherit. We work with professional staff at colleges and universities to make sure our peers have the skills, opportunities and training they need to create a better, more sustainable future for all of us. Our chapters provide the training, professional support and resources students need to tackle climate change, protect public health, revitalize our democracy, feed the hungry and more. Students have been at the forefront of social change throughout history, from civil rights, to voting rights to protecting the environment. For nearly 50 years we’ve helped students to get organized, mobilized and energized so they can continue to be on the cutting edge of positive change.


Liyang Network Western Massachusetts

Liyang Network is a grassroots local-to-global advocacy network that amplifies the calls to action of rural communities, Indigenous Peoples, and land and environmental defenders in the Philippines. As members of the local and international community, we understand that all struggles for environmental protection are interconnected and that global movements for the defense of land and self-determination can draw inspiration from the struggles in the Philippines.


Extinction Rebellion – Western Massachusetts

Extinction Rebellion is a global movement that uses art, theatre, music and non-violent civil disobedience in an attempt to halt mass extinction and minimize the risk of social collapse due to climate change and overconsumption.


Trees as a Public Good

Trees as a Public Good is an advocacy network for protecting the forests and urban trees of Massachusetts. Our network membership includes individuals and members of other advocacy groups as well as scientists.


Western MA Green-Rainbow Party Regional Chapter (WeMA)

The Green-Rainbow Party is the Massachusetts affiliate of the Green Party of the United States (MA political designation “J”). It was founded in 2002 through the union of the Massachusetts Green Party and the Rainbow Coalition Party. WeMA is the Western MA Green-Rainbow regional chapter, and approximately encompasses the four western counties: Berkshire, Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin.

Our party name’s history: In 1983, Mel King (a five-term State Representative) ran for mayor of Boston, developing the Rainbow Coalition theme and becoming the first and only African-American to become one of Boston’s two mayoral finalists. Jesse Jackson, as a 1984 presidential candidate, made the Rainbow Coalition idea known nationally.

The Rainbow Coalition grew into a multi-issue multi-racial organization not only in Boston but also in other Mass. cities. In the 1990s, it became the Rainbow Coalition Party. Similarly, the Green Party was getting more organized both nationally and in Massachusetts. When Ralph Nader ran as a Green candidate for president, the Rainbow Coalition Party endorsed him.

Though the Rainbow Coalition Party was largely known for its social justice platform, the environment was also an important component of their work. The Massachusetts Greens were always known as an environmental party, but they also emphasized social justice issues. The two parties began negotiations to join forces and worked together on some campaigns and issues.

In 2002, the two parties combined into one, becoming The Green-Rainbow Party, the official Mass. affiliate of the Green Party of the U.S (MA designation “J”). The Party values its dual traditions and joint identity. While some identify the rainbow primarily with the LGBT movement, that is a positive connotation in light of the GRP’s commitment to gay rights as part of all human rights. Moreover, the rainbow remains a universal symbol of hope, promise, and diversity.


Springfield No One Leaves

Springfield No One Leaves is a grassroots member-led organization in Springfield, MA. We organize residents most directly impacted by the housing crisis and economic inequality to build collective power, defend against displacement and win long-term community ownership & control over land and housing. We operate at the intersection of housing and climate change and recognize the immediacy of organizing in this moment to win green infrastructure and housing for working people on the front line of the climate crisis. Through direct action campaigns, building community solidarity, leadership development & political education we empower and train residents to be leaders & organizers for a broad social justice movement.




Stockbridge School of Agriculture and UMass MANRRS Student Chapter

Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences (MANRRS) provides its members with career support, mentorship, and exclusive job opportunities. All students are welcome to join and minorities are especially encouraged. UMass is the first and only university in New England to start a chapter. The UMass MANRRS chapter faculty advisor is Dr. Jaime Pinero from the Stockbridge School of Agriculture and its current President is Mateo Rull-Garza, a graduate student at Stockbridge.


Nuestras Raíces

Nuestras Raíces (NR) is an urban center for food access and education in Holyoke 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/food businesses. NR further supports the community with business classes, commercial kitchen rentals, mobile food markets, nutrition and cooking classes, and other programs to promote food security and environmental justice.


UMass Permaculture Initiative

A unique and cutting-edge sustainability program, UMass Permaculture provides empowering hands-on education and leadership training, community engagement, and fresh, local, organic produce to the UMass campus. Founded in 2010, the initiative builds and maintains highly productive, highly educational edible gardens right on campus. The gardens are designed using permaculture principles and are installed by students, staff, and volunteers. ​


Grow Food Northampton

Grow Food Northampton’s mission is to create a just and resilient local food and farming system that nourishes our community and protects and enriches the earth. We own and steward the 121-acre Grow Food Northampton Community Farm where we: Lease low-cost farmland to 10 small farms, Run a 320-plot organic Community Garden for over 400 community members, more than 35% of whom receive subsidized plots to grow food for themselves and their families; Operate a Giving Garden that grows thousands of pounds of food annually for donation to local food pantries and community meal sites; Conduct collaborative research projects with academics and others on sustainable and climate resilience-enhancing agricultural practices and Provide extensive land- and food-based educational programming for children and adults.




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.


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. Essential to our work is recognizing and undoing systemic injustices such as racism, sexism, ableism, transphobia, transmisogyny, and psychiatric oppression.


iCons Group H

iCons is a program at UMass that aims to involve students in research and innovations that take an interdisciplinary approach to real-world problems. Group H, a group in the Messier 14 cohort, is a collection of students across fields such as physics, chemistry, engineering, environmental sciences, and public health, that have come together to innovate more accurate pulse oximeters for melanated skin as a part of efforts to make medicine more equitable. In the early stages of their case study, Group H kindly asks for your help collecting data by allowing them to use a pulse oximeter to take your blood oxygenation levels. It should only take a few minutes, we thank you in advance for your help!


School of Public Health & Health Sciences

The UMASS School of Public Health and Health Sciences is a national leader in finding ways to maximize public health and quality of life and addressing the root causes of ill health in our communities. At our table you will find the Western MA Health Equity Network, the Department of Environmental Health Sciences working on environmental justice, and the community advocacy group, Medicare for All, will be joining us too!




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.


UMass 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.




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. Looking for readings? Here are a few ideas!


UMass 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 – Economic and Public Policy Research

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!




Massachusetts Peace Action Education Fund

Peace advocacy including ceasefire in Gaza, negotiated end to the Ukraine war, Fund People Over Pentagon, and challenge the twin existential threats of nuclear war and climate change.


UMass Dissenters

UMass Dissenters is a new movement at UMass fighting to end the universities ties to war and militarism.


Ban Killer Drones

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.


Warheads to Windmills Coalition

The Warheads to Windmills Coalition brings together organizations working on climate and nuclear disarmament to campaign for a fossil-free and nuclear-free future. The Coalition supports national legislation to do that, as well as citizen action to pressure the fossil fuel and nuclear weapons companies through divestment, boycotts and public shaming. At the state level, the Massachusetts Warheads to Windmills Coalition also supports legislation that would establish a Nuclear Weapons and Climate Citizens Commission for Massachusetts to explore how the state can make that transition. We also support divestment and boycotts of companies like Raytheon (RTX), L3Harris, General Dynamics, and others operating in Massachusetts, and their involvement on campuses at UMass and elsewhere.


Back from the Brink

Back from the Brink is a project of the Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR). Its goal is to educate the public about the growing danger of nuclear war and role the climate crisis is playing in increasing that danger, the catastrophic consequences that will follow if nuclear war occurs, and the urgent need to eliminate nuclear weapons as the only guarantee that they will not be used. It seeks to mobilize people in support of a series of government actions, including Congressional Resolution H. Res. 77 and Massachusetts Resolution S. 1487 calling on the US to enter negotiations with the other nuclear armed states for a verifiable agreement to eliminate their nuclear arsenals according to an agreed upon timetable so they can all join the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.


Palestine Solidarity Caucus (GEO)

The Palestine Solidarity Caucus is a group within the Graduate Employee Organization and provides a space for sustainable discussion, education, and collective action regarding the Israel-Palestine conflict. The caucus recognizes the relationship between organized labor and international humanitarian causes, including the occupation of Palestine. We seek to reaffirm GEO’s 2003 resolution for divestment from the Israeli occupation and 2016 endorsement of BDS. More widely, we call on the University of Massachusetts, UAW International, and UAW Local 2322 to divest from the Israeli occupation, call on the government to end military aid to Israel, and to donate to Palestinian relief efforts.

Members of PSC are graduate workers in STEM fields at UMass, and are interested detangling the relationships between university research and militarism – on our campus and beyond.



A women led National peace organization, with local Western Mass Chapter.




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 ( is a volunteer-run abolitionist group organizing for decarceration in Franklin and Hampshire County. Since our founding in February 2021, we have posted over 150 bails. We are a non-judgmental community bail fund and do not consider charges, court history, or circumstance in posting bail.


Prison Abolition Collective

This is PAC’s second year tabling with Science for the People. Established in 2016 after a screening and discussion of “13th”, PAC takes an intersectional approach to build a world without prisons or police, including political education on “crime”, mass incarceration, the solution of abolition, transformative justice, community care, mutual aid, and more. We strongly believe that carcerality exists outside of the prison, in police departments, ICE detention centers, psychiatric facilities, drug treatment centers, universities, and more. They all use an approach of surveillance, incarceration, and violence to criminalize people of color, trans people, those experiencing trauma, and other vulnerable people. We also stand in solidarity with movements like Black Liberation, Land Back (globally), decolonization, disability justice, and healing justice. We are tabling at the Science for the People Fair because we strongly believe in the possibility of a better world, and to achieve this, we must experiment and imagine it together, just as scientists do. We meet Mondays from 6:30-8 pm in New Africa House, Rm. 21, and our current working groups are Abolitionist Political Education, and Mutual Aid & Community Care, and we have since launched a campaign to abolish UMPD off campus, and build community-led strategies for harm reduction, and accountability.


Mutual Aid Project (MAP)

The Mutual Aid Project is a collective of students, staff, and faculty that explores, researches, supports, and instantiates mutual aid and anti-capitalist efforts at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and beyond.

Since the spring of 2021, the UMass Mutual Aid Project has hosted weekly “Thing Swap” events, where participants can take items they need and leave items they don’t. In addition to providing for real needs of increasingly precarious students, staff, and faculty through sustainable exchange, the Thing Swap cultivates relationships between campus community members and operates as a “third space” that provides a place of relaxation and interrupts market imperatives and demands for student success.

Alongside our thing swaps, we also include skill shares at most events. Past skill shares have included plant propagation, beekeeping, crochet and more.

We are also involved in research that examines the limitations and possibilities related to student well-being and communities of care within our neoliberal university.

Map is currently involved in the following efforts to help cultivate and expand non-capitalist desires, practices and relations on campus including:

• Researching time banks with a vision of building a time bank here at UMass and/or the broader community

• Creating a resource library on campus where people can rent out items of need

• Facilitating the establishment of a Repair Collective for people to get help with broken electronics

• Producing zines to circulate on UMass’s campus and beyond






Five Colleges, Inc.

People’s Science Network (of Science for the People)

At Hampshire College: Dean of Faculty

At Smith College: Center for Environment, Environmental Science and Policy, Jandon Center for Community Engagement

At UMass Amherst: Civic Engagement & Service Learning; Civil and Environmental Engineering DEI Committee; Economics Department; Environmental Health Sciences; Ethnography Collective @ UMASS Amherst; Global Technology for Social Justice Lab; Graduate Employee Organization; History Department; Institute for Diversity Sciences; Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning Department; Manning College of Information and Computer Sciences; Massachusetts Society of Professors; Mathematics and Statistics Department; Political Economy Research Institute; Professional Staff Union; School of Earth and Sustainability; School of Public Health and Health Sciences; Social Thought & Political Economy Program; Stockbridge School of Agriculture; University Libraries; University Relations; Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies Department; World Studies Interdisciplinary Project





Check back after the fair to see pictures from our event!