Forming a Teen Social Network

Showcase Forums Teen Science Cafe Workshop Discussion 2015 Forming a Teen Social Network

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    Michelle HallMichelle Hall

    At the Teen Science Café Network Workshop in January, we started a discussion about developing a social network for the community of teen leaders and participants in our teen science café programs. We would like to follow up with all Members to explore the level of interest among adult and teen leaders for such a network.
    To move this conversation forward, we have posted a blog with some of the initial thoughts on a process to evaluate whether and how to develop such a community. We have also posted some starting questions on the Forum.

    First, we must answer the question: Why support it?
    The idea to create this network is based on some assumptions that teens across the network will want to:

    1. Connect with other teens with similar interests.
    2. Share ideas on how to improve their local cafés.
    3. Share videos and images in creative contests.
    4. Explore current science with peers and experts.

    Some benefits to the TSCN movement might be:

    1. Fulfill an expressed interest of teens attending teen science cafés to connect to others with similar interests and experiences.
    2. Provide more opportunities for teens to reinforce and expand their interest and knowledge in STEM related topics presented in cafés.
    3. Provide access to a wider variety of STEM experts
    4. Expose teens to the various topics and formats offered at a teen café.
    5. Raise awareness of Teen Science Cafés nationally among teens.
    6. Gain a broader teen perspective underpinning the future directions of the TSCN and teen science cafés.

    Are we already achieving these in other ways? Could we do better?
    I would like to hear your thoughts.

    Lawrence NorrisLawrence Norris

    I think all the assumptions are valid IF we make the the community website something worth coming back to. So we as the TSCN ISE professionals must not only build the platform, but also make the content and information flow robust enough that it engenders frequent visits and even a necessary tool. Here we can take much from the digital learning body of pedaogogy and praxis.
    I think all the benefits makes it worth the effort. The downside risk is that we make a white elephant website, which as things go is not incredibly terrible.

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