Member’s Thoughts on the 2016 TSCN Workshop

TSCN Logo 2016In August 2016, the Teen Science Café Network (TSCN) held a three-day workshop with 36 attendees from new and continuing sites. For evaluation purposes, our evaluator, Jessica Sickler, distributed an online survey at the end of the workshop, and it was completed by 100% of attendees. Below is a summary of the attendees thoughts on the workshop:
Outcome Achievement
The workshop was very successful at fostering relationship-building and networking among the TSCN attendees. Outcomes achieved in this area included that attendees:

· Made helpful personal connections;
· Had specific plans to follow-up with one or more personal connection from the workshop, ranging from regional connections, to virtual cafés for teens, to sharing ideas on diversity and inclusion.
· Felt extremely confident in their ability to get help from the Network;
· Reported the most useful part of the workshop were the opportunities to network and share ideas with one another;
· Felt that the Network’s culture and tone of helpfulness and mutual support built great confidence in future resources.

The workshop successfully increased skill-levels of attendees in working with teens, working with scientists, and developing participatory programs.
The workshop also was rated quite successful at addressing useful information in the set-up, running, and growing of a Teen Science Café program.
Satisfaction with the Workshop
Attendees felt the workshop was very well done overall, as well as being extremely well-run in terms of logistics and hospitality. In addition to the value of networking, attendees indicated that the use of hands-on formats and the various topics covered were all useful elements.
A handful of suggestions, mostly related to adjustments to the workshop formats, schedule, or minor logistics were made. (See full recommendations in the report.)

Future Professional Development Activities
Attendees expressed greatest interest in PD topics related to teens and programming – from creative Café formats to working with teens to creating compelling activities. Building partnerships was also of interest. PD topics about working with scientists were of less interest.
The majority of attendees’ preferred PD formats that were either in-person (regional meet-ups) or online and relatively short in duration. Online PD formats preferred included short how-to videos, Forum discussions, and “coffee-break” webinars (20 minutes or less). Email and social media were the least preferred forms of sharing.dsc09696cropdsc09728

Recommendations

Future Workshops

·More concurrent or birds-of-a-feather sessions to customize learning
·Continue to minimize time spent presenting and increase hands-on learning and activities
·Add dedicated time for action-planning
·Consider overall length and timing, especially relative to travel plans

Future PD Activities

·Provide opportunities to connect on the topics of greatest interest to attendees, such as creative formats and working with teens
·Frame less interesting (but important) topics in ways that relate to Organizers’ perceptions and concerns
·Experiment with new formats for PD, such as videos or regional meet-ups

READ THE FULL REPORT       2016-tscn-workshop-evaluation-report-09-16-2016