Never let it be said that science is uninteresting and can’t draw a crowd.
At least not in Mansfield.
The north side of the Square downtown was filled with wonder on Saturday, “Earth Day,” as hundreds of visitors were drawn to displays focused on science education. The event was held in conjunction with the nationwide “March for Science,” albeit with a local twist.
Leading the way to the tables were banners and placards highlighting the ways in which science intersects with daily life in north central Ohio. The happening was led by faculty at OSU Mansfield, and particularly Professor and Earth Scientist Ozeas Costa.
In information shared by the school, ““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 said.” 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.”
The Mansfield event was one of 12 held statewide, with a total of 517 events taking place around the world. As shared by the school, “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.””
Local participants also included the Mansfield/Richland County Public Library and the Warren Rupp Observatory. Pictures from the event are below; click on any for a larger image.