During the 19th and early 20th centuries, Springfield was a center of innovation in technology and manufacturing. Today Springfield is a great place to ask “what’s next”?
Funded by the National Science Foundation under the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI), Futurescape City Tours are interactive, community engagement projects where participants explore how new technologies could change their city and their lives in the near future. Springfield is one of six cities, including St.Paul, MN; Portland, OR; Phoenix,AZ; Edmonton, Alberta; and Washington, D.C., hosting engagements in which local residents, stakeholders, scientists and engineers tour their neighborhoods and talk about how new technologies like nanotechnology may change buildings, transportation, food, healthcare, energy use and more.
Join us for an Exhibition and Opening Reception of photographs and material artifacts from the Springfield tour. Thursday, December 12, 5:30-8:30PM at the UMass Design Center @ Court Square, Springfield, MA
Highlights of the exhibit include:
We met with professionals, scientists and engineers at each location including U.S. Representative Richard Neal, Daniel LaDuke Energy Engineer for Conservation and Load Management at the Western Massachusetts Electric Company; Carolyn Hart Lucien of the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority; Ken Carter of the UMass Amherst polymer science and engineering department and Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) to learn about research in nanotechnology self assembly and roll to roll processing; and Nikhil Malvankar, a postdoctoral research associate at UMass Amherst in Derek Lovely's Microbiology Lab, to learn about new bioenergy research associated with the Geobacter bacteria, and Guy McLain, Director of the Lyman and Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History.
FCT involves students in a new graduate-level research methods course supported by a UMass Community Engagement and Service-Learning Fellowship: Participatory Digital and Visual Research Methods that is taught by Krista Harper (Anthropology and Center for Public Policy and Administration [CPPA]) and Gretchen Gano (Science, Technology, and Society Initiative, CPPA).
About the VISUAL photography:
VISUAL (Ventures in Science Using Art Laboratory) is an outreach program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst based on the premise that the visual arts provide an effective means to educate and stimulate the general public as well as students of all ages on the importance of scientific research in our everyday lives. Each captivating image is a direct experimental result from research conducted on the Amherst campus or at our partner institutions. As a Materials Research Science and Engineering Center, we share the vision of our sponsor, the National Science Foundation, to find ways to reach the American public and to educate students on the importance of science. By building on the synergy between art and science, VISUAL provides a unique avenue by which both disciplines can be promoted, appreciated, and enriched.
Project links and affiliate information:
Springfield Project Contacts