Sharing information about our successes and struggles in creating dynamic teen science cafés with high impact is at the core of creating a community of practice that will help all of us improve our efforts. As such, we ask that each Member for an annual report about their activities as a condition of membership.
Aside from our individual professional growth and improvement of the teen café model, documenting our work is critical to securing long term funding for our programs. The data all Members contribute in an annual report that can be used to inform and advance our work. It will be aggregated in ways that all Members can use it to seek additional funding for their own efforts.
Being part of a national effort with proven success can improve prospects of seeking funding locally. And, at the national level, we will seek funding that maintains the Network infrastructure used bu Members and that provides supplemental funding to Members.
To comply with reporting requirements for NSF, we request these reports by June 30 each year.
The data we request will be very useful in documenting annual reach and impact of the Network program, but is also information that each Member will likely want to be collecting about its program to understand impacts.
A good way to collect some of the basic data requested is by having each teen attendee fill out registration and comment cards that each Café session. Registration cards can be used to gather contact information of attendees, get grade level and school information to determine where advertising is working, and show the frequency of attendance of any one person. It is also possible to informally estimate demographics using surname as an indicator of ethnicity and first name for gender. As an incentive for the teens to fill out the cards, they can be used to select a small door prize at the end of the session. Comment cards provide feedback on the expectations and satisfaction of the audience about topics, styles of presentations, hands-on activities, length of the program, and quality of the venue.
Example registration and comment cards can be found in the Getting Started Toolkit in the Resources section of the Network website. These cards can be customized to collect the full range of information a program wishes.