EW-EcoDancePhoto-750x380The School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences once again is hosting a weeklong festival in celebration of Earth Week. This year’s theme is “INTERCONNECTIONS.” The events celebrate relationship between communities, and across generations and geography, as well as local and global issues that include water and air pollution, climate change, policy, and law. The festival features a series of lectures, workshops, films, and exhibits. Rensselaer will celebrate Earth Day on Friday, April 22.

On Wednesday, April 20, some program highlights include: the “Green Greeks Day of Service,” a hands-on, campuswide community service effort; a campus visit from first graders in the Tamarac School District; a lecture on “Reflections on a Career in Fracture Mechanics”; and an evening panel discussion focused on “Directions in Energy Justice Activism.”

The events planned for Thursday, April 21, include a series of films and discussion sessions, along with presentations by Rensselaer students in the Food, Farms, and Famines course taught by Abby Kinchy, associate professor in the Department of Science and Technology Studies.

The Earth Week festival culminates with the celebration of Earth Day on April 22. Activities include the annual Ecologic EarthFest, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the Rensselaer Union patio and nearby areas; a debate focused on nuclear energy featuring members from the Women in Nuclear student organization vs. the RPI Debate Team; and a lecture on “Movements of Elements in the Ecosystem,” by Rick Relyea, director of the Jefferson Project and the David M. Darrin ’40 Senior Endowed Chair in the Department of Biological Sciences. In addition, members of the Society for Environmental Professionals will host an EcoKids Night Out in Academy Hall from 6 to 9 p.m.

Earlier in the week, an Earth Week Kick-Off event was held April 15 to celebrate and showcase environmental education and stewardship. The event was open to area students and their families, along with the surrounding community. The program featured music and dance performances, workshops, games, sports activities, and learning kiosks.

According to Kim Fortun, professor and head of the Department of Science and Technology Studies, the INTERCONNECTIONS festival is an example of how Rensselaer embodies The New Polytechnic: a new paradigm for teaching, learning, and research—a view of the technological research university as a fresh collaborative endeavor across disciplines, sectors, and global regions.

INTERCONNECTIONS is sponsored by the Department of Science and Technology Studies, in collaboration with the Vasudha Living and Learning Program, the EcoEd K-12 Outreach Program, and student clubs—Students’ Sustainability Task Force, Terra Café, EcoLogic, Society for Environmental Professionals, and Ground Zero Basement.

For more information, and to view the complete schedule including specific program times and location view the website.