March for Science in Hanford on April 22 at 12th Ave. and Lacey

Dear Editor:

All my life I have loved learning about the natural world and been excited by new innovations and scientific discoveries.  As a high school student, I was in our local MESA (Mathematics, Engineering, and Science Achievement) club and got lots of exposure to professionals through a STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) institute.

I also loved and excelled at playing softball. I figured that I could work with kids and coach so I decided that I wanted to be a math or science teacher. Jaime Escalante was a huge influence after watching the movie, “Stand and Deliver” my senior year in high school.

I attended UC Berkeley and took science classes integrated with my Ethnic Studies major and Education minor. I played intramural softball with scientists from the Lawrence Berkeley National Labs and was fascinated by all their research and its applications.

Over the course of my 25-year teaching career as a middle school math and science teacher, I have attended several summer institutes sponsored by the National Science Foundation, NASA, Woodrow Wilson Institute in Genomics, Computer Using Educators, and UC Berkeley Museum of Paleontology.

This summer, I will attend a STEM institute at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. All these experiences working with our federal science communities have enriched my teaching and made my class dynamic and fun for students. In a nutshell, I LOVE SCIENCE, and I am proud that my students are learning the skills of seeking evidence and using reasoning to establish and verify scientific claims.

Recently, I read an opinion piece written by Anaya Elizabeth Johnson entitled “I Never Thought I'd be Marching for Science” (Scientific American, 4-14-17) In the article, Ms. Johnson states “the anti-science stance of the current administration—silencing scientists, removing data from federal websites, proposing drastic funding cuts-hits my core.” 

 I have similar feelings.  Professional scientists are seeing their life-long work literally being destroyed through policies or erased from public records and resources. Future scientific research will be severely limited by budget cuts to programs and agencies. We need this research. It is creating new medicines, finding cures for new diseases, discovering solutions for cleaner air and drinking water, harvesting water, protecting our oceans, developing cleaner, renewable energy resources, improving agricultural methods/technologies, and solving numerous other world problems.

This is why I am choosing to March for Science on Earth Day. I encourage anyone who supports the work of all scientists, science teachers and students, to join us for the Hanford March for Science, April 22, 2017.  We will meet on the southeast corner of 12th and Lacey Blvd. 2:00-4:00 pm.

(Karla Orosco lives in Hanford and has been a math and science teacher in Kings County for 25 years. She is a life-long advocate for excellent schools and science education)


Karla Orosco


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