This past weekend, the majority of the solar spring break team caravanned up to my house in Maryland to attend the National March for Science in Washington, D.C. We had such a fun time adventuring and such an empowering experience at the march, so today I’m finally sharing our weekend with you!
If you have no interest in how cute we are as a team ( 😉 ) , you can scroll further down to read about the why behind the march and what we can do now that it’s over!
We all met up Friday evening to pack into two cars and drive the five hours up to my house. It wasn’t too long of a drive, but I’m still counting it as a road trip because I love the excitement of being in a full car heading off to adventure. Just being with *almost* everyone again made my heart so happy and I couldn’t wait to wake up and start the weekend we had been looking forward to!
We finally arrived shortly before midnight. After getting settled, we made some posters for the march and, one by one, quickly crashed for the night.
This is the day we had been talking about since we got back from spring break– the day to march for science!
Our metro arrived in D.C. a little before noon. We had a short walk from the station to the Washington Monument where the rally was taking place and the march would be starting. It was already raining at this point, so we were starting off the day soaked (you’ll see later that we never fully dried off). There was a lot of standing around as we waited to get through security and again later as we listened to some speakers, but it was still a good time with the team.
And. You guys. We got to hear my hero, the one and only Bill Nye, speak. That was for sure my highlight of the rally #bestminuteofmylife . Is there even anyone else that comes close to embodying all that science is? Nobody can bring science to public like Bill Nye can. I just love him so much! Okay. I’m done. I’m good. Moving on…
After we ducked out for a quick lunch, we eventually made our way back to the grounds and wound up towards the front of the herd that would be marching from the Washington Monument towards the Capitol Building. We thought we got lucky and the rain would take a break to let us walk, but the weather had other plans.
We eventually made it to the front of the Capitol and just turning around and looking at all of the people still pouring through the streets was incredible. It wasn’t the most beautiful of days, but thousands of people still showed up for science. I definitely think this made the entire experience so much better since we knew that everyone in attendance truly wanted to be there. They were so dedicated to the cause and it was great to share that with people of all different backgrounds in one of my favorite cities.
After we finished at the Capitol, we did some exploring since we were in the nation’s capital! We hit the National Museum of the American Indian followed by the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History before grabbing dinner and catching the metro back home.
And, as with any solar team get-together, there were plenty of games before bed!
Today was drive-back-to-Raleigh day. Pretty uneventful, though I did get to introduce the team to WaWa (aka my other home, it’s magical), which made my day. We stopped again for some Cook Out right outside of campus because #college and then said our goodbyes before it started to downpour. The rain seems to follow us wherever we go, but being drenched leads to some of the best memories!
I’m so, so thankful that we were able to bring this weekend trip to fruition. I love spending time with every single one of these people and my life would not be the same without them. After all, a team that adventures together, stays together, right?
The mission of the March for Science organization is to champion
“…robustly funded and publicly communicated science as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity. We unite as a diverse, nonpartisan group to call for science that upholds the common good and for political leaders and policy makers to enact evidence based policies in the public interest.” via
Science is for everyone. It benefits everyone, supports everyone, communicates to everyone, and can be accepted, appreciated, and acted on by everyone. It isn’t meant to sit in technical journals or be confined to top-secret labs. It’s so important, now more than ever, to continue to spotlight all that science is accomplishing. It’s time to bring it out into the public and properly recognize it. I promise, the scientific community is so enthusiastic, smart, and just all-around incredible. You can be a part of it!
We know that just attending a protest doesn’t do much on its own. We recognize that a lot of people go to demonstrations for the photo ops or to fill their social media feeds with likes. They go simply to fight for something, to argue about anything. There are so many passionate reasons for marching, though, and so many passionate people behind the picket signs. To help give you a better idea, I asked some of the solar team why they showed up to march and got a variety of answers…
“I marched for science because research and data should drive decisions. We need more financial investments into policies that support scientific discovery, and more financial investments into higher education – a population that not only comprehends but critically analyzes science makes the scientific process even more rigorous and fool-proof…” –Rosalynn
We marched for the Environmental Protection Agency (Liz).
We marched for vaccinations (Rosalynn).
We marched for the environments of our home towns (Dani).
“[We marched for] the general pursuit of renewables in the world’s energy mix and to stop mountaintop removal coal mining” –Chad
We marched for space exploration and international collaboration.
We marched for our atmosphere and we marched for our water.
“The textile and fashion industry is the second biggest pollution industry and makes up for 10% of the carbon emissions and lots of the chemicals that run into the water. We are damaging our planet and our environment and [we need] legislation to help us improve our impact on the planet…the science [is] telling us we need to change” –Megan
We marched for truth, awareness, and integrity.
Overall, we marched because we love science. We live it everyday and we see all that it gives us.
Don’t get me wrong, I know that this march wasn’t about us in the slightest. We had a great time of course, but we fully understand and support that this wasn’t about individuals at all. This march, and marches in general, are a part of something much bigger than all of us. When we combine our voices and our outpouring of support, the result is turning a march into a movement.
So now what?
The march may be over, but our opportunity to make a difference somewhere is not. This battle is not lost. For more resources, ideas, links, and information on how to continue your involvement, click here.
Our future lies in science. It lies in research, discovery, education, advocacy, awareness, and funding. Science matters. Political affiliation is not the question here, but, if you must pick a side, pick the side of science.
~ How will you continue to act for science?