Advisory Committee

The Teen Science Café Advisory Committee provides essential guidance to the Teen Science Café Network leadership on issues of program development, evaluation, network growth and management, and other aspects of effectively disseminating the Teen Science Café model and design principles nationally and internationally. They are a vital resource to continually improve the work of the Network and its members.

The board meets formally once a year, but is consulted as needed throughout the year on issues that may arise.

photo of Jan Mokros

Jan Mokros, Senior Research Scientist at Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance. She is Principal Investigator of MMSA’s NSF-funded STEM Guides project and co-leads MMSA’s Reach Center project with Tom Keller. She served as MMSA’s Executive Director from 2008 to 2014. Jan is a developmental psychologist and mathematics educator who has led several projects at MMSA, including an NSF-funded project on energy education. Jan also serves on the Governor’s STEM Council. She launched San Francisco State University’s Center of Science and Mathematics Education, which focuses on recruiting and retaining K-12 science and math teachers. She holds a B.A. in psychology from the University of Minnesota and a Ph.D. in developmental psychology from the University of Minnesota, Institute of Child Development.



Photo of Ben WieheBen Wiehe, Science Festival Alliance Manager, MIT Museum, was the founder of the adult Science Café network at WGBH and has expertise in developing informal networks and sustaining them. As the Science Festival Alliance Manager, he can connect us to a network of ISE professionals that are well poised for exploring and implementing a teen science Café.





photo of Beverly ParsonsBeverly Parsons, President and Executive Director of InSites, a Colorado-based nonprofit organization. InSites works through inquiry-based evaluation, planning, and research to support learning, growth, and change in formal and informal social systems. InSites pays particular attention to how social systems attend to environmental sustainability, social justice, economic well-being, and community development. Beverly served as president of the American Evaluation Association in 2014. She is a member of the International Society of Sustainability Professionals. She holds a M.A. and Ph.D. in Educational Research and Evaluation (University of Colorado) and a B.S. in Medical Technology (University of Wisconsin).



photo of Larry BellLarry Bell, Senior VP of Strategic Initiatives at the Boston Museum filling multiple roles in Education and Exhibits since 1971. He is also the Director of the Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network (NISE Net). NISE Net is a major initiative funded by NSF to raise public awareness, understanding, and engagement with nanoscale science, engineering and technology. He brings significant connections to the ISE / ASTC community through NISENet, as well as experience in developing a community of practice from the ground up.




KirkAstrothKirk Astroth is a Professor & Extension Specialist in the Norton School Family & Consumer Sciences at the University of Arizona.  Kirk has been a YMCA camp counselor, a youth crew leader in the Model Cities/Neighborhood Youth Corps, taught school in Tucson for 4 years, and for 30+ years has been a national leader with 4-H Extensions in KS, UT, MT and now AZ.  The Arizona 4-H program received the Cox Excellence in STEM Education award for a statewide organization in 2014. Kirk recently returned from youth development projects in Nepal and Nicaragua. He is assisting the REINU Project in Mexico for a national Extension Network focused on youth development.   Kirk has been a director of AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps*VISTA projects.  He is president of the Arizona Center for Afterschool Excellence board of directors and is an appointed board member of the National Afterschool Association.



Karen Pphoto of Karen Petersoneterson, Chief Executive Officer and Principal Investigator for the National Girls Collaborative (NGCP). She has over 25 years of experience in education as a classroom teacher, university instructor, teacher educator, program administrator, and researcher. A graduate of the University of Washington, Bothell campus, her Master’s thesis focused on gendered attitudes towards computer use in education. Designed by Karen, the NGCP seeks to maximize access to shared resources for public and private sector organizations interested in expanding girls’ participation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The overarching goal of the NGCP is to use the leverage of a network or collaboration of individual girl-serving STEM programs to create the tipping point for gender equity in STEM.  In 2013, Karen was profiled in STEMConnector’s™ 100 Women Leaders in STEM publication.

Photo of Richard TankersleyRichard Tankersley, Professor of Ocean Science at the Florida Institute of Technology, and the Program Director for Division of Graduated Education/Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship Program at the National Science Foundation.  Rick is also the Project Director for Presentation Boot Camps, a professional development program to help scientists communicate better with the public.