So you’ve said “Let’s do it!” to the idea of launching a Teen Science Café. Great! Now, where will you look for presenters? Here is a list to give your brainstorming session a boost.
Scientists and engineers often work at or with academic institutions, yes, but don’t forget to also consider other science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) professionals in your local community. When you expand your horizons, you may realize that there are great STEM professionals, and thus potential Teen Science Café speakers, all around you.
Think outside the box and consider aiming for diversity when it comes to topics and careers. Also, strive for a diverse population of men and women of all ages and colors and with all kinds of outfits when seeking out a presenter. It’s good for teens to realize how science infiltrates so many fields, how it affects the world all around them. Teens may even be inspired to consider a life in STEM for themselves.
Who do you know who has a connection with these places (below)? If you don’t know anyone (or anyone who knows anyone), call the front desk and start asking for their recommendations!
Suggestion: Make a list of who and where comes to mind as you read this list!
- The National Role Model Directory. Searchable by city/field of work/ethnicity & type of visit (ie after-school), these STEM professionals are passionate and have signed up to potentially work with others and be STEM role models.
- Brainstorm who you know in these professions (or who else might know them): List of all STEM Occupations.
- small (or large!) engineering firms and local tech companies
- your Chamber of Commerce member listings
- emergency medical services (EMS), emergency medical technicians (EMTs)
- administrative offices for local utility systems – electric, water, sewage, waste and recycling, gas, cable, phone…
- artists (STEAM) who can speak about the science, technology, engineering and/or math in their work
- veterinary practices
- wildlife rescue centers and animal shelters, etc. List: your state’s wildlife rehabilitator
- Maker Spaces
- hospitals and other medical centers
- local blood collection agencies
- fire departments
- police departments
- forensics teams
- mortuaries (funeral homes and crematoria)
- coroner’s office
- physical therapy offices
- midwifery practices
- observatories and local astronomy clubs
- sewage treatment plants
- recycling centers and dumps
- colleges and universities
- environmental and nature centers
- science centers
- museums of all kinds
- zoos, wildlife parks and aquariums
- local pilots, civil air patrol groups
- agriculture companies
- culinary arts (chefs…the science of food and cooking, etc.)
- dairies, local cheese makers, breweries…
- renewable energy companies and plants
- retired science teachers
- state fish and game office
- your county’s Cooperative Extension agent office
- master gardener programs
- local computer network and other service providers
- local radio and public television stations
- attend local adult science cafés, Astronomy on Tap cafés, and lectures at colleges, universities, and museums to observe potential presenters first hand
- Ask the Public Relations / Government Relations / Communications Office of local STEM organizations about STEM experts who have given particularly good interviews on their research
- Ask your U.S. Representative or Senator’s office about names of scientists they use to help them keep abreast of current STEM research.
- List with descriptive examples: Careers in Science (note tabs across top)
Can you add to this list? Email email@example.com
10 Tips for Finding Great Teen Science Café Presenters – includes approaches for vetting… and for the pitch (ie. What do I say to the potential presenter?)