2018 Teen Science Café Network Workshop

August 8-10, 2018 – St. Louis University, 

Davis-Shaughnessey Hall, Room 274-276

Wednesday, August 8

12:00-1:00: Welcome and Lunch

1:00 – 1:30: Get to Know one Another

1:30-3:00: Elements of a Successful Teen Science Café Program—The Core Design Principles

Following an overview of the Principles, participants will divide into six groups in three rooms, for a facilitated conversation on achieving the Principles. Facilitators will move from site to site at regular intervals to discuss all six principles.

Facilitators: Jennifer Novotney, Allison Brody, Jan Mokros, Mike Mayhew, Melanie Kudra, Suraida Nanez-James, Sara Fyke, Denise Thompson, Michelle Hall, Bethany Fortune, Teresa Madrid, and Natalie Bachmann

Resources for this session:

Core Design Principles 

3:00-3:15: Break

3:15 – 4:00: Café Promotions Contest, and Discrepant Events Display – Introductions

  • Promotions Contest:

Participants submitted flyers, posters, and other adverts to show how they promote their programs. Participants will  circulate, have conversations around these adverts and vote on their three favorites. This is the summer edition of TSCN’s new contest program. The three top-rated submissions will receive prizes.

By Michelle Hall and Michael Mayhew

  • Discrepant Events Display:

After a ~10 min demonstration of how you might use discrepant events with teen leaders, at cafés, and with presenters, participants will be invited to follow the prompts and see what happens at activity stations located in the building.

By Denise Thompson and Allison Brody

4:00-5:00: Let’s Hear From the Teen Leaders

Teen Leaders Andrew Bergantz, Lauren Douglas, Rincon Jagarlamudi, Amelia Markwell, and Sonali Sharma—from the Gateway Teen Science Café node, St. Louis will share about their experience as teen leaders.  Facilitated by their adult leader, Natalie Bachmann.

5:00: Dinner on the town (Restaurants Near By)

Thursday, August 9

7:00-8:00: Breakfast at the SLU meeting rooms

8:00-9:00: Lessons Learned, Good Stories, and Novel Opportunities

Six members will share stories about unique aspects of their programs; each will be followed by Q&A.

Intro by Michelle Hall; stories by Carolyn Noe, Anne Terry, Bethany Fortune, Tokiwa Smith, Jennifer Novotney, ­­­­­and Sara Fyke.

Resources for this session:

Learn to Manage Your TSCN Page and Share Your Cool Cafes and Resources

9:00-9:30: Emerging Theme: Technology in Emergency Response to Natural Disasters

Jan Mokros of the Maine Math and Science Alliance will describe this opportunity for a Network-wide theme.Attendees will have a chance to suggest possibilities for participation within their own regions.

9:30-10:00: Extended break

Intended to provide attendees with the opportunity to network, engage TSCN staff and experienced members in discussions, or just take a walk outside.

10:00-11:00 Concurrent Sessions

Session 1: How do you get diversity and inclusivity into your program?

What does diversity mean to you? Cultural, ethnic, self-identity, and socio-economic considerations? Culturally relevant presenters? Accessibility? Not just for science nerds? Is there a distinction between diversity and inclusivity? This session is aimed at allowing participants to identify challenges related to achieving diversity and inclusivity in their respective programs and receive help in developing strategies to meet them.

Discussions will take place within two groups occupying two of our rooms.  Discussions will be facilitated by Jen Parsons, Tokiwa Smith, Kate Sallah, Nate Raynor, Suraida Nanez-James, Twila Casias, Toni Smith, and Teresa Madrid. The last 15 minutes of the session will be devoted to a report-out of the principal themes that emerged from the discussions.

Session 2: Birds of A Feather —  For those for whom diversity and inclusion are not issues within their programs, our third room will be reserved for small-group birds-of-a-feather conversations.

11:00-12:00: Understanding the Motivations of Scientist-Presenters

Our evaluation data shows that many adult leaders are uncomfortable approaching and then coaching/guiding their scientist presenters. Yet scientists report that interaction with teens and the adult leader that leads to them refining their presentation and hands on is extremely beneficial. In this session we will hear from some past presenters, who will give us their perspectives on how they were recruited, the coaching they received on how to engage the teen audience with their science, and overall how they view their whole experience of presenting in the café and interacting with the adult and teen leaders.

We are fortunate to have a guest panel made up of past presenters from the Gateway Teen Science Café.

  • Rose Jansen is director, public science programs & science speakers, at the Academy of Science St. Louis and oversees the Academy’s component of the Gateway Teen Science Café. She will introduce the panel.
  • Boahemaa Adu-Oppong is a Washington University graduate with a degree in Evolution, Ecology, and Evolutionary Biology, now a Computational Microbiologist at Monsanto Company.
  • Debbie Yee is a 5th year Ph.D. student in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis. Her research is aimed at understanding psychiatric disorders like addiction and depression.
  • Lisa Kanizay is Reproductive Biology Scientist at the Monsanto Company. Her research centers on modern tools and technologies to produce plant varieties that provide farmers and growers with predictable, consistent results.
  • Michael White is Assistant Professor of Genetics, The Edison Family Center for Genome Sciences & Systems Biology, Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine

12:00-1:15: Lunch and an opportunity to walk and talk

1:15-3:15: Ready, Set, Coach! Techniques for Preparing Scientists to Present an Awesome Teen Science Café

Facilitators: Allison Brody, Denise Thompson, Rhea Waldman, and Liz McMillan.  

A Teen Science Café often requires scientist-presenters to shift their presentation paradigm. In this workshop, attendees will gain ideas, tools, and strategies for successfully preparing scientist-presenters and guiding them through this paradigm shift. Strategies include: narrowing the topic to “the most important thing”; how to ask powerful questions and incorporate ideas from teens; and how to transform teens as passive listeners to engaged, active participants.

Resources for this session:

Making Meaning

Scientists Find Their Stories

PADLET ADDRESSES – These will remain open and here in the agenda so you can add to them, and view them, post-session and post-workshop.


3:15-3:30: Energizer!

A whole group activity your teens could do at a meeting of teen leaders, or at a café.

3:30-4:00: Break

Concurrent Sessions

4:00-5:00: Developing Scientific Identity and Creative Partnerships to Create Lifelong Learners

Facilitators: Elizabeth Schiavoni and Stephanie Hawkins.

Learn to identify social groups and bonds through the use of the Social Identity Mapping Tool. Recognize how teens identify themselves to draw new lines in their social webs that incorporate science communities and traits of lifelong learning.

4:00-5:00: A second room will be available for those who wish to have small-group birds-of-a-feather discussions.

5:00: Dinner on the town – Groups can organize to go to a variety of restaurants. (Restaurants Near By)

Friday, August 10

7:00-8:00: Breakfast at the SLU meeting rooms

8:00 -10:00: The Essence of Adult and Teen Leadership

  1. At the end of the day on Thursday, participants will have picked up a blank card and overnight have written down an instance in which they displayed leadership. To start the Friday session, attendees will share their stories with their neighbors and we will have a handful of people share their story with the whole group. The intent is to get you thinking in terms of being a leader.  (10 minutes)

Facilitators: Michelle Hall and Michael Mayhew

  1. This session will introduced the concept of The Art of Powerful Questions. The intent is to engage participants in using open ended questions for helping teen leaders understand the nature of teen cafes and to get them to envision what they want in a teen cafe and to begin taking ownership. (30 minutes)

Facilitator: Allison Brody 

Powerful Questions Handout (1)

  1. Groups of quotes about leadership will have been posted all along the hallway, and attendees will have had a chance to peruse them. In this segment, they will engage in conversation about ones that most resonate with them as adult leaders.  They will converse about what steps they might take in order to allow teen leaders to grow into the styles of leaders embodied by the quotes. Attendees will then wander to a different grouping of quotes with a different group of people. (15 minutes)
  2. In this segment attendees will disperse to 6 small groups in 3 rooms. An experienced member facilitates a role-playing activity in which the facilitator plays the role of the “adult leader” during the first teen leader meeting, while rest of the group plays the role of the “teen leaders.” They are guided to envision their own leadership of their program and every task that needs to take place for a café.    (45 minutes)

Facilitators: Michelle Hall, Michael Mayhew, Allison Brody, Teresa Madrid, and Chiara Paleari

  1. In the same small groups, a facilitator distributes a list of “most important roles” of a leader. Each person marks 3 of them that they most identify with as a café adult leader. Then they take turns explaining to the group why they chose the ones they did and receiving feedback/comment. The intent is for the period of intense discussion to become a learning experience for all. (30 minutes)

Facilitators: Michelle Hall, Michael Mayhew, Allison Brody 

Resources for this session:

 The Importance of the Adult Leader

Asking Powerful Questions to Encourage Teen Leadership

Leadership values

Leadership Quotes – full list

9:30-9:45: Break

10:30-10:45: Energizer!

Whole group activities your teens could do at a meeting of teen leaders, or at a café.

Find these and others on TeenScienceCafe.org!

Leadership Building Exercises for Youth

Team Builders and Icebreakers! Ideas for Café Warm-Up Activities, and Leadership Team Building

10:45-11:45: Building Community Partnerships and Support

After a whole group introduction featuring impromptu stories of fruitful community partnerships members have experienced with regard to their cafés, groups break off into small groups in  three rooms. Every person is given a planning sheet on which, with help from their small group, they name local potential community partner organizations and individuals whom they might approach, and why.  A focus will be identifying barriers to establishing specific partnerships; attendees will help each other with strategies to overcome them.

Facilitators:  Michelle Hall and Michael Mayhew.

Planner handout for this session:

Planner – Building Community Partnerships and Support

11:45-12:00: Closing

By Michelle Hall

Resource for use with new teen leaders:

Words to describe a Teen Science Café 


Transport to the airport


St. Louis Attractions