Seeking Presenters: Where To Look?

Think outside the box and consider aiming for diversity when it comes to people, topics and careers.

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)