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Youth science, sustainability expo on Saturday at GCC

GREENFIELD — Would you like to see young people’s visions of the future? You can find it at the Pioneer Valley Science and Sustainability Expo on Saturday by talking with third- to 12th-graders and others about their projects. Organized by Greening Greenfield, this free event will be held in Greenfield Community College’s dining common.

The expo is an intergenerational, non-commercial, educational event for youth and adults. It is designed to foster mutual inspiration and enthusiasm around sustainable living, and sustainability education. There will be about 50 displays this year that have been prepared by more than 100 students from schools up and down the Pioneer Valley.

“What I love about this event, is how it draws together people of all ages, and brings out a hopeful perspective and imaginative vision for a better life,” said Susan Reyes, science educator, and director of the expo.

Visitors are invited to come by between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. In the morning, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., students and others who have built model eco-friendly homes will display them as part of a national program called the Green Dollhouse Challenge. This noncompetitive event encourages community members to talk with the entrants about their projects, and learn about what makes a home “eco-friendly.”

Joining this group will be wide-ranging student-built displays of projects that have to do with sustainability.

Between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., the UMass Amherst Chemistry Club will put on a chemistry show. “People don’t understand how in everyday life chemistry is used and that’s what we try to show people through our demonstrations,” President Zack Plourde said.

At around 12:30 p.m., for the KidWind project about 20 teams have built 3-foot-high turbines. They will display them, test them in a wind tunnel to see how much electricity they can produce, and then judges will talk with the teams and score them on their presentation, turbine design, and quality of their display. This will be followed by a tour of Greenfield Community College’s sustainability-related facilities and programs around 2:30 p.m., and an awards ceremony around 3:30 p.m.

Now in its third year, the expo was created by Greening Greenfield to encourage teachers and home schoolers to engage youth in projects that foster mutual inspiration and understanding of sustainable living. The expo is co-sponsored by Greenfield Community College, The Massachusetts Association of Science Teachers, the Pioneer Valley STEM net, The KidWind Project, EnergyTeachers.org and the Hitchcock Center for the Environment.

For more information, go to GreeningGreenfield.org and follow the expo links in event listings or call Susan Reyes at 413-259-1658.

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