One of the main goals of the Teen Science Café Network and PSC is to ensure that we are reaching audiences that are ethnically, racially, and economically diverse. We would like to serve audiences that are underrepresented in science and have fewer opportunities to be exposed to STEM fields.
Our program has two external venues that we use for our cafes. We want teens to feel comfortable attending our events, so we have decided to put them in local venues, not in our Science Center. We are currently exploring where we can take our events to reach the full potential and enhance diversity. Last year and this year we have guaranteed that at least one of the two venues is in an ethnically diverse area and hosted in either a life center or a cultural center so that we can encourage the local community that is already established and connected to the venues to attend the cafes.
Last year one of our venues was hosted at a teen life center attached to a local high school with a student population in which 62% are minorities and 39% are economically disadvantaged. Our new location this year is in an area where 53% of the population is non-Caucasian and 12% of the locals speak Spanish, compared to 4% of the total Seattle population that speaks Spanish.
In addition, the high school it is located near is made up of 68% minorities. 57% of its student population is economically disadvantaged, as 10% qualify for reduced lunch prices while 47% qualify for the free lunch program. In the future we hope to be able to bring our program to a more central location in Seattle so that students from all over the Puget Sound area could easily commute to the events.
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