Cool Cafés: Submit Your Stories

Cool Teen Science Cafés are magical. The sense of excitement, intrigue, curiosity, and full engagement is palpable. Sometimes this happens because of the topic, other times it is due to the manner of the presenter and conversation, still others it is due to the hands-on learning. Whenever you have a Cool Café, share it with the Network. It is a great way to advertise your program and to inspire other members to organize a similar Café. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!


A Cool Cafe post has two parts, the Overview and the Hands-on Activity:

Overview: This is a succinct essay aimed at getting across to others in the Network both the substance of the presentation and the essence of why this café was especially intriguing, inspiring, and fun.

As you compose your essay, try and address the following questions:

  • What is the presenter’s name? What is his or her organization? What is his or her expertise?
  • What did you learn about the presenter’s career path? Did it have notable twists and turns?
  • What was the subject of the café presentation?
  • How would you summarize the presentation? What were the Big Ideas you took away from it?
  • What was the coolest thing about the café?
  • How would you characterize the conversation and interaction among teens and presenter?

With the submission of your Cool Café draft, please include photos (include a candid photo of the presenter). Also include as many other related resources as are available, such as the presenter’s PowerPoint, the presenter’s webpage, a video interview between the presenter and teen leaders, a video of the presentation, or links to related readings. Also include a description of any ice breaker that was used in enough detail that another site could try it.

Hands-on activities: This is to be a description of the activity in enough detail that someone else could replicate it. How was the hands-on learning tied to the presentation?

Include a photo or two of the hands-on activity in progress. Also include links to on-line resources related to the hands-on activity that might help others use the same activity.

Below are some example blogs on past cafés to give you inspiration:

Brain of the ZOMBIE!

What’s in your water?

Your entry will be richer if you can include a photos, video taken at the café, an interview of the presenter or the presenters webpage, and URL’s for any resource with your submission. Please send images in jpg format, or URL’s to webpages and videos to

Click Here to Submit Your Cool Café!