Teen Leader Roles and Responsibilities – Examples and Templates

Spreadsheets, Checklists, Templates, and Diagrams

We thank Teen Science Café Network Members for freely sharing their “go to” templates related to helping coordinators and teen leaders organize what needs to be done before, during, and after each café event. Outlining and following Roles and Responsibilities = Divide and Conquer!

There is no “one” right behind-the-scenes method of organizing a café simply because every site’s needs differ; some places are able to frequently get all their teen leaders in a room together to do all the planning, and for others, a virtual method of meeting and organizing is the best way to get things done. Some sites have a very small leadership team, so signing up individually for one or more tasks makes sense, while those with many teen organizers have devised ways to break into sub-committees with specific themes, and assign broad or specific tasks based on the availability of individuals within those committees.

If you are a Member with a system of organization that works great, or if you have “go-to” documents you are proud of, please share! Contact

From “Café Scientifique New Mexico” in Taos

Read: Highly Structured Teen Leadership Team

Read: Motivating and Delegating Responsibility to Teen Leaders 

In this café site, the teen leaders decided they wanted to organize themselves into a highly structured committee or council format. They elect committee officers and outline what each head and assisting member is to do prior, during, and after each café. Read about this demonstration and commentary of what teens are capable of if they are given the freedom and encouragement to be proactive and step up to responsibilities on their own initiative.

From “Teen Science Café Seattle” at Pacific Science Center

Beginning in the fall of 2016, Pacific Science Center will have “Committee Heads” who will work on the same committee all year. Everyone else will choose a different role for each café we put on. The teens chose this new model because they had some issues in a past year with volunteers following through on their commitment to the program resulting in some committees having no one at their planning meetings or events, causing others to scramble to cover for them.

From “Open Minds Teen Science Café” at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
At Raleigh’s Open Minds Teen Science Café at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, they try to give their teen Café Coordinators opportunities to help the program in ways that play to their strengths, whether they be public speaking, social media, design, or planning.

Their teens volunteer to be part of one of 3 committees:

Ambassadors: Responsible for primary engagement with Café attendees and attending to speakers during the café. This group makes the announcements before and after the presentation, greets and thanks the speakers, and disperses themselves within the teen attendees in the room to help “work the crowd,” assisting with mics during Q&A time, and being present to answer questions about logistics.
Download: One of their Ambassadors created a during-café checklist to help make café events run smoothly and efficiently.

Activities: these teens are responsible for developing, piloting, and creating any assets (worksheets, etc.) required for the activity.
Advertising: This committee is responsible for social media and outreach. They talk to their teachers, hand out flyers and run all of the Raleigh social media accounts, ie. they promote the café on their teen-managed Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts. They also distribute flyers to their friends and teachers.
A teen coordinator they currently have is really great at graphic design and designs all of their posters, including these:

The Raleigh teen leader group as a whole is responsible for these general duties:

Teen leaders help select café presenter.
Teen leaders meet café presenter two weeks before each café to give them feedback on their presentations and ask any questions they might have.
During the café teen leaders have different roles or assignments.

From CU-Boulder’s “Science Discovery Teen Science Café”
View: Google spreadsheet – Café Responsibility Sign Up for Teen Leaders.

Ahead of each café, teen leaders at CU-Boulder’s Science Discovery Teen Science Café use a Google spreadsheet like the one linked above to sign up for responsibilities. They aren’t always able to hold an in-person planning meeting, so this form helps ensure everything is getting done.

From MOTE Marine Lab “Florida Teen SciCafé”
View: Diagram – Teen Leader Committee Roles and Responsibilities. 

At MOTE’s Florida Teen SciCafé, the facilitator and teen leaders hold bi-weekly planning meetings where they break into four committees tasked with certain jobs, as shown in the above diagram. They are asked to rotate through committees throughout the year in order that they experience it all.

From Science Education Solution’s “Café Scientifique New Mexico” in Los Alamos
View: List – Café Responsibilities for Teen Leaders.

View: NM_LA responsibilities sign up – pre during post café. 

At the Café Scientifique in Los Alamos, NM, the Coordinator and teen leaders generally meet in-person weekly to plan and assign responsibilities for activities pre-, during- and following that month’s café. The Coordinator uses the above lists to help the teens remember everything.

From HMS Teen Science Café in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey
View: Outline – Teen Leader Committees and their roles

As part of her Scout project, it was a teen who organized all the committees and their roles for the HMS Teen Science Café in its first year.