URI 4-H offers series of free, fun Teen Science Café events where teens get to socialize over food and refreshments and have the opportunity to talk with local scientists and engineers about current cutting-edge ideas in science and technology. Cafés are structured to promote lively conversation and interaction among teens and the presenter; a Café is not a lecture. The scientist presenters share their experiences by interacting with the teens. Often there is an overview of the scientist’s career path and introduction to the science and technology ideas faced in the field. This is typically followed by Q&A with the teens and frequently there is some hands-on way for the teens to engage in the science/technology being discussed.
Teen Science Cafés are for teens, by teens. A core group of Teen Leaders, with the committed mentorship of an
adult, plan and run the café themselves. Teen Science Cafés are not just for science buffs; they are for all
curious teens. Along the way, teen organizers gain a host of leadership skills.
Our Teen Science Café meets 4-5 times per year for 1.5 hours. The presentation is typically 30-45 minutes.
Refreshments are served for about 15 minutes before or after the presentation. During the last half hour of the
meeting, teens are free to socialize. Most adults typically sit in another room. If they are in the
presentation room, they are asked to observe only.