BUCKHANNON — On Earth Day, the best move you can make for the planet is to join in the local March for Science and Celebration of Science events that are taking place in Buckhannon.
Buckhannon’s March for Science is a spin-off of the national March for Science event that’s being held at 9 a.m. Saturday at the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
The goals of the national march – and that of the local march and celebration – are to promote sound science by humanizing science; partnering with the public; advocating for open, inclusive and accessible science; supporting scientists; and affirming science as a democratic value, according to one of several local event organizers, Heather Schneider.
Schneider and members of other local organizations, including the Sierra Club, Mountain Lakes Preservation Alliance, Mountaineer Voices for Change, Upshur Indivisible and Buckhannon Huddle, are coordinating the event, which begins with a March for Science from 1 to 2 p.m. at the Upshur County Courthouse, 38 W. Main St.
Following the march, a Celebration of Science will take place in Jawbone Park from 2 to 5 p.m. The celebration will feature a slew of table-top demonstrations and information pertinent to science, as well as live entertainment on stage, including music and other presentations on various topics, such as exactly how much water on Earth is drinkable and the benefits of utilizing solar energy.
In addition, representatives from NASA IV &V Center in Fairmont will be present to introduce attendees to robotics, and there will also be a children’s area, which Edwina Howard-Jack and Crystal Brown have been instrumental in organizing, Schneider said.
The children’s area will feature a variety of activities, including building birdhouses and planting bee-friendly flowers. Meanwhile, on stage, Schneider and several other individuals will be presenting a readers’ theater/children’s story time skit as they dramatically read excerpts from Madeleine L’Engle’s “A Wrinkle in Time.”
Following the Celebration of Science, two film screenings of the documentary, “Time to Choose” are planned for 3 and 5 p.m. in Lascaux Micro-Theater.
Directed by documentarian Charles Ferguson, “Time to Choose” focuses on world-wide climate change challenges and solutions, Schneider said.
Schneider emphasized that the March for Science/Celebration of Science is not geared toward one political party or sector of the population, but is meant to be an event that encourages everyone to embrace science and the scientific method.
“We want everybody to feel comfortable coming out and celebrating science,” Schneider said. “Science is something that touches all of our lives, even in subtle ways that we don’t think about, whether it’s family members who have been helped by antibiotics or a student studying musical theory – science is relevant in the arts and harder sciences,” she said.
Saturday is simply about celebrating science, she added.
“We want to celebrate its presence in our lives and cultivate healthy relationships within our community involving how we engage with the sciences in our ever-changing climate,” Schneider said.
She said she’s noticed more and more people have become involved and/or interested in science lately.
“We’re excited for West Virginians to have an opportunity to get more involved in renewable energy as well as strengthening organic agriculture,” Schneider said.
Organizing a march in conjunction with the national March for Science seemed like a fitting way to further those goals, but the group wanted take their cause one step further.
“There’s more interest – many of the conversations I have are with people involved in the sciences,” Schneider said. “We decided we wanted to go beyond a march, and we wanted community members to really see how science in involved in their everyday lives.”
For more information about the national event, visit www.marchforscience.com.