Teen Science Café out-of-school programs are a free, fun way for teens to explore the big advances in science and technology affecting their lives. Teens and STEM experts engage in lively conversations and activities to explore a topic deeply.
The TSCN can help you get started now.
What is the Teen Science Café Network?
We are a community of practice providing the highest quality resources and support to organizations who implement a teen science café. Our members are committed to help one another and continually improve the teen science café experiences and their impacts.
For us, I think that we are gradually changing mindset. I am trying very hard to set an expectation: it is the teen leaders’ role to promote peer-to-peer interactions, introductions, and a fun atmosphere in the time leading up to the Cafe. Currently, that time is very serious with cliques talking and eating, but also many attendees sitting alone, eating, and just waiting for the presentation to start. The teen leaders’ mindset until now is: some people come just for extra credit and some for the time to hang out with friends they already know, and that is how it is. I think that after many discussions we (the youth leadership team and I) are finally on the same page about livening up the pre-Cafe atmosphere, and now they are trying to find ways to facilitate this change. Some ideas that they will try are funny interviews of the attendees and playing games that attendees can join when they arrive. It has been difficult to find ideas that are received positively by the teens– the word “ice breaker,” for instance, makes them cringe– and present the ideas in a way that they accept and act upon. I’d value any suggestions and insight from the wider community.