A person dressed in a polar bear outfit stands by the Center for Biological Diversity's booth at the 2018 Bay Area March for Science at Lake Merritt. Sara Hossaini/KQED
A person dressed in a polar bear outfit stands by the Center for Biological Diversity's booth at the 2018 Bay Area March for Science at Lake Merritt. (Sara Hossaini/KQED)

PHOTOS: Small, Passionate Crowd Celebrates 2nd Bay Area March for Science

PHOTOS: Small, Passionate Crowd Celebrates 2nd Bay Area March for Science

The Bay Area's second annual March for Science on Saturday was a much smaller affair than the massive event that took place last year in the first few months of the Trump administration.

This year's event drew a much smaller, but passionate crowd of a few hundred science buffs and practitioners to check out the booths run by science organizations and hear speeches and live music.

Many were scientists, like Becky Mackelprang of UC Berkeley. Mackelprang says she came to fight the growing mistrust of scientists and science, not just in terms of climate change, but also things like vaccines and "fake studies" shared on social media.

"I saw these two ridiculous studies, one was that thinking makes you fat and [the other was] that bras give you cancer," Mackelprang said. "What I would love was for the average person to see that headline and say, 'That doesn't seem right to me. Maybe I need to look into that a little bit more before I share it on Facebook.' "

Sprinkled among the scientists were their admirers, including a contingent of students there to support their biology teacher, Glenn Wolkenfeld, who was also lead singer of the band that opened the event.

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Berkeley High School junior Colleen Burns says Wolkenfeld brings his science songwriting into the classroom through folk songs, raps, funny songs and even his popular YouTube music videos.

"You're kind of lying if you say you don't like live music," Burns said, "and whether you are doing great in his class or not, you can sit down and sort of enjoy the song and it kind of connects you to the material."

Classmate Sarah Weaver says this year's class is the reason she started to like science.

"You sort of just have to enjoy it when he's just so optimistic all the time," Weaver said, "and, I don't know, it's just such a good feeling he brings to the classroom."

Wolkenfeld says he's been using music to connect with students since his first teaching job, nearly three decades ago. But the work feels even more crucial now.

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"Our federal government is really not on the side of justice and sustainability, and we need America to be on the right side of those issues," Wolkenfeld said. "So if I'm helping young people to figure out accurately how the world works, that is a really great thing and it makes me really happy."

Two-year old Alvin Troung of Oakland checks out the play exhibit from the Lawrence Hall of Science at the Bay Area's 2018 March for Science.
Two-year old Alvin Troung of Oakland checks out the play exhibit from the Lawrence Hall of Science at the Bay Area's 2018 March for Science. (Sara Hossaini/KQED)
Scientists Marirana Schiavon and Sur Herrera of San Francisco study genes and microbes, respectively. They came to the march because they feel it's important for scientists to introduce themselves to the public.
Scientists Marirana Schiavon and Sur Herrera of San Francisco study genes and microbes, respectively. They came to the march because they feel it's important for scientists to introduce themselves to the public. (Sara Hossaini/KQED)
Jon Alexander of Pleasant Hill relaxes while listening to a science band at the March for Science.
Jon Alexander of Pleasant Hill relaxes while listening to the science band led by Berkeley biology teacher Glenn Wolkenfeld. (Sara Hossaini/KQED)
Paul and Kathryn Bessar of Sunnyvale show their signs at the March for Science. Paul is a material scientist.
Paul and Kathryn Bessar of Sunnyvale show their signs at the March for Science. Paul is a material scientist. (Sara Hossaini/KQED)
Elizabeth Petro and 6-year old son, Xavier of Oakland relax at this year's March for Science. Elizabeth says she wishes that data were as readily accessible to people as it is to advertisers. She says an example would be data that shares the pollution level near any specific address.
Elizabeth Petro and 6-year old son, Xavier of Oakland relax at this year's March for Science. Elizabeth says she wishes that data were as readily accessible to people as it is to advertisers. She says an example would be data that shares the pollution level near any specific address. (Sara Hossaini/KQED)
Future Stanford undergraduate Sahithi Pingali of Bangalore, India speaks to the crowd at Lake Merritt, in Oakland. Because of her work, a planet in the Milky Way was named in her honor.
Future Stanford undergraduate Sahithi Pingali of Bangalore, India speaks to the crowd at Lake Merritt, in Oakland. Because of her work, a planet in the Milky Way was named in her honor. (Sara Hossaini/KQED)
Kiandra Kang and Aditi Mhasker are pediatricians from Santa Cruz. They worry that more patients are doubting the importance of vaccines.
Kiandra Kang and Aditi Mhasker are pediatricians from Santa Cruz. They worry that more patients are doubting the importance of vaccines. (Sara Hossaini/KQED)
March for Science volunteers Quinn Cook and his father, Randall. 12-year old Boy Scout Quinn says he loves science because it solves real life problems. He says he worries that some people don't believe in science.
March for Science volunteers Quinn Cook and his father, Randall. 12-year old Boy Scout Quinn says he loves science because it solves real life problems. He says he worries that some people don't believe in science. (Sara Hossaini/KQED)
Emily Stanford of Oakland says she just finished her Bachelor of Science degree and hopes to work in the field. She says the U.S. is not paying enough attention to science.
Emily Stanford of Oakland says she just finished her Bachelor of Science degree and hopes to work in the field. She says the U.S. is not paying enough attention to science. (Sara Hossaini/KQED)
Paula Swiatkowski is a scientist from Oakland. She says she wishes more people had come out to the second annual March for Science because 'truth matters'.
Paula Swiatkowski is a scientist from Oakland. She says she wishes more people had come out to the second annual March for Science because 'truth matters.' (Sara Hossaini/KQED)
Ana Firelight of Circus of Smiles shows three young women how to hoola hoop in order to teach them about centripetal forces. Firelight advises them to 'tighten everything and go really fast.'
Ana Firelight of Circus of Smiles shows three young women how to hoola hoop in order to teach them about centripetal forces. Firelight advises them to 'tighten everything and go really fast.' (Sara Hossaini/KQED)
Malia Kankanui of Brentwood breaks a sweat while learning centripetal force through hoola hooping. Kankanui is a chemical engineering student at a community college in Pittsburg and says she 'loves' science.
Malia Kankanui of Brentwood breaks a sweat while learning centripetal force through hoola hooping. Kankanui is a chemical engineering student at a community college in Pittsburg and says she 'loves' science. (Sara Hossaini/KQED)

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