Mansfield March for Science planned by OSU-M faculty
Mansfield, OH – With every word spoken by The Ohio State University at Mansfield Professor and Earth Scientist Ozeas Costa, you can feel his excitement about science. His enthusiasm is helping to bring the first ever March on Science to Mansfield this Earth Day.
“The idea came to us [on the] spur of the moment. It originally started after hearing about the March for Science in Washington, D.C.,” Costa says. At the time, he planned to attend the event in the nation’s capital. However, when Jill Silva, a teacher at Discovery School and a naturalist, came to him with the idea of bringing a satellite event to Mansfield, he couldn’t wait to start planning.
“We knew the event had to come here. It’s not needed as much in bigger cities. There is a great need in smaller communities, especially in our area. I see [that] students come to me and are not well-prepared,” Costa explains. “The smaller more rural communities are where science education is suffering.”
Costa and a committee of more than a dozen educators and community members decided to focus on the need for increased science education here in Mansfield. The March for Science event has grown, and now other cities throughout the state are also holding events and marches. Twelve different science events will be held across Ohio, and 517 demonstrations will take place around the world.
While most of the events, like the one in Washington D.C., will include a march from one location to another, the Mansfield event will be very different.
As the idea developed, the committee had to decide how to demonstrate the importance of science in our community. That’s when the idea came to do a “teach-in.” For the event, several local teachers have joined forces with faculty and staff from Ohio State Mansfield, including those from departments of Chemistry, Math, and English, to conduct science experiments and activities. Participants can meet the educators and ask questions, as well as talk about their own fields of research.
Costa made it clear that the event is not about political issues, but instead is meant to emphasize the importance of science in our everyday lives. Scientists have decided to speak up on that issue.
Costa explains, “We should all understand the value of science in our lives. What we want to do is, hopefully, make people realize that science is a part of us. We cannot escape from it. We live it every day. We live better lives—healthier lives—because of science.”
The Mansfield March for Science will be held in downtown Mansfield on the square on Saturday, April 22nd from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It is a family-friendly event and free to everyone.
Representatives from the Mansfield/Richland County Public Library will be there with science books and materials available on loan. They will also have activities for kids participating in the event.
Members of the Warren Rupp Observatory will also be on hand to talk about astronomy and show the resources they have available at the facility.