Case Western Reserve’s annual celebration of research and scholarship will fill the Veale Convocation Center Friday, kicking off exactly 24 hours before science supporters come together on Public Square.
Organizers of the university’s Research ShowCASE and Intersections event and the March for Science Cleveland planned their respective events months apart from one another, but the coincidental timing still catalyzed a third event: STEM-A-Palooza.
More than 100 middle and high school students from Cleveland and East Cleveland will join the ShowCASE crowd to learn more about opportunities in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields.
The young students will watch demonstrations by CWRU student entrepreneurs and innovators and participate in interactive sessions.
“I think it’s really inspiring to see the breadth of research and scholarship happening at CWRU and the variety of people who are doing it,” Vice President for Research Suzanne Rivera said. “I hope the local students who attend as part of STEM-A-Palooza will come away from [Research] ShowCASE thinking, ‘science is cool!’ and “that could be me!’”
The day includes presentations and posters regarding research projects, a celebration of student writing, think[box] tours and a bevy awards for postdoctoral scholars, graduate students, undergraduates and high school students who perform research on campus. One of those high school students is eligible to win a $20,000 scholarship for the best scientific poster.
The activities Friday also include a keynote lecture from Adam Marcus, co-founder of Retraction Watch, a blog that reports when scientific journals withdraw published papers. He will be speaking about how promoting transparency in research can strengthen science.
“[Research] ShowCASE is an opportunity to bring it all under one roof and celebrate it in such a way that allows a person attending to fully appreciate the range of topics we study and the magnitude of the impact of our work to improve human health and benefit society,” Rivera said.
Meanwhile, several members of the campus community will be on hand at Public Square the following day. Scheduled for 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Cleveland’s march is one of 514 marches planned worldwide in conjunction with a national march in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, April 22, which also is Earth Day.
“It’s going to be a celebration of science with some edge,” said Patricia Princehouse, director of Case Western Reserve’s evolutionary biology program, outreach director for the Institute for the Science of Origins and co-chair of the Cleveland march. “We want our policymakers to know this matters to the people.”
Princehouse is among the speakers Saturday, as is Leslie Cuellar Vita, a doctoral student in pharmacology at Case Western Reserve’s medical school, and Emmitt Jolly, an associate professor of biology at CWRU.
Also at the microphone will be Evalyn Gates, executive director and chief executive officer of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. Gates also is an alumna who earned her doctorate in physics here in 1990.
In a blog post explaining the museum’s endorsement of the march, Gates pointed to science’s multiple tangible benefits to such areas as human health, technology and the economy.
In addition, she wrote (with co-author John Mangels): “[S]cience enriches our lives. It inspires us to dream and equips us to achieve. Science is the catalyst for—and the consequence of—curiosity. Its marching orders are how and why.”