Lead Institution: Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance, Augusta, Maine
First Responder Teen Cafés, begun in 2017, are a new version of the historical Teen Science Café for ME! cafés that started Spring 2014 and that, over the years, have served teens in Dexter/Dover, Machias, Central Lincoln County, & Oxford Hills. Current cafés are in South Paris and in Harrington. These teen science cafés are the first of its kind in the state of Maine. We work in rural areas where distances to science centers, museums, and universities are often very great. Our youth have limited access and exposure to out of school STEM opportunities and we aim to change that! At The Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance, we bring STEM opportunities TO the youth we hope to inspire.
First Responder Teen Science Cafes are supported by MMSA’s STEM Guide’s project. One is at Oxford Hills Highschool in South Paris, ME and is being run by 4-H Camp & Learning Center at Bryant Pond with help from two STEM Guides there. The other is in Harrington, Maine at Narraguagus High School. That is also being organized by 4-H – but through the Washington County Cooperative Extension office in Machias – again with help from local MMSA STEM Guide in that county.
Disasters and emergencies are intriguing to youth, including those interested in helping others or in developing new technologies. Many teens want to know how they can help now, particularly when an event hits close to home. Others wonder whether their interests could lead to a career in the future, unaware of the adults in their community who are part of this field. That’s why Teen Science Cafes [TSCs] in Maine are currently honing in on the STEM in emergency management and response.
Rural students learn that a variety of pathways and opportunities exist for them to pursue their interests. Although many emergency management and response jobs require two- or four-year degrees, entry into the field can also begin with a high school diploma and specialized training and certification. Plus, opportunities to be part of this profession are present in most rural communities as well as beyond them.
Today, the field of emergency management is undergoing rapid change. Although it remains physically demanding, mentally challenging, and unpredictably paced, it is now adopting 21st century mobile device and broadband technologies that are revolutionizing its impact. It’s experiencing an information revolution that is rewriting how we find, diagnose, and treat people in need. Already, for example, EKGs can be recorded on a smartphone anywhere and transmitted to an Emergency Room physician; cheap ultrasound devices can detect internal bleeding right at the scene of an accident; and infrared detectors can amplify the search and rescue capabilities of dogs, drones, and wardens.
Check us out!
First Responder Teen Science Cafe in Machias – Facebook
Member contributions to TeenScienceCafe.org:
- Cool Café: Search And Rescue Dogs Go High Tech In DownEast Maine (6/2018)
- Cool Café: Drone Technology In Hurricane Emergency Response (4/2018)
- Introducing Youth to the Technology in Emergency Management (9/2017)
- Video Conferencing for Connecting Cafes in Rural or Dispersed Communities with Teens and Presenters – presentation at 2016 TSCN Workshop by Alicia Millette (8/2016)
- A Grandparent’s Letter – The benefits the community and his grandson gained from being a part of the café Youth Leadership Team (Dexter, 6/2016)
- Building a Teen Café in Rural Communities (8/2016)
- Member Spotlight: Alyson Saunders – Rural Challenges Conquered (8/2015)
- What We’ve Learned…So Far! Good-to-know tidbits from Maine (1/2015)
- Starting Up the Blue Hill Teen Science Café (1/2015)
Damariscotta, Maine 04543 Skidompha Public Library & Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance
Machias, Maine 04654 Axiom Education & Training Center, & UMaine Cooperative Extension 4H
Paris, Maine 04281 U Maine Cooperative Extension 4 H & Oxford Hills School District