When it comes to fighting climate change, it doesn’t take superpowers to be a superhero.
That was the message Environmental Resilience Institute Fellows and staff shared with attendees at Indiana University’s Science Fest, a celebration of all things science and a day of hands-on learning for kids of all ages.
ERI participated in the Oct. 26 event in coordination with IU’s Integrated Program in the Environment.
At the ERI exhibit, attendees were asked to vote for their favorite climate change superheroes from a lineup of characters representing scientists, politicians, farmers, business leaders, engineers, teachers, journalists, and communities. More than 250 votes were cast, with “The Scientist” attracting the most support.
Additionally, booth visitors could share their own superhero skills by writing or drawing how they are contributing to solving climate change in their own lives.
“Understanding climate science is really important for kids and the public, but it’s also important to recognize the various ways people can help their communities and the world address climate change,” said ERI Fellow Abigail Sullivan, who volunteered for the event. “There are so many different ways that people can contribute, and we wanted to draw attention to that at Science Fest.”
Beyond ERI’s exhibit, two Institute-affiliated researchers participated in the “Meet a biologist!” activity on behalf of IU’s Department of Biology. ERI Fellow Ranjan Muthukrishnan donned his wetsuit and led a "search" for native and invasive aquatic plants in Indiana lakes, while associate professor Jen Lau showcased “superhero” bacteria that turn air into fertilizer as part of a biodiversity activity.