Accelerating success with teen science cafés
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TSCN Open Mic

Do You Want Vibrant Teen Leaders?

Are you wanting to make a vibrant Teen Science Café? We are here to help!  Our panel of experts will speak for 5 minutes each on their individual perspectives of how they have developed vibrant youth groups. After they've presented, we will take questions from the audience for the remainder of the hour. 

Our experts are:
  • Kurt Astroth - Extension 4-H Youth Development Specialist - University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
  • Tony Smith - Teen Science Café Seattle Adult Mentor - Pacific Science Center - Seattle, WA
  • Natalie Eichelberger - STEM Outreach Programs Associate - The Academy of Science - St. Louis, MO 

Join us for an Open Mic Chat:

 Tuesday, November 22nd 2pm Mountain (4p Eastern/1p Pacific)

Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone. 

You can also dial in using your phone. 
United States +1 (872) 240-3311 

Access Code: 547-385-773 
TSCN Featured on NISE Net
The teen years are a time of exploring new frontiers and making important decisions that will change lives in ways that cannot be known. The same can be said for the field of synthetic biology - it is a time of great exploration and possibilities, a myriad of choices, and cautious trepidation of the unknown. Thus, it was fitting to host a science café for adult mentors of teen science café programs to introduce them to the field of synthetic biology and provide them with rich resources that can be used in a science café explicitly for teens. 

Read the Full Story 

The Connectory Mini-Grant

The Connectory is a the most comprehensive searchable database of STEM out of school offerings for kids K-12 across the US. It is a great way to advertise your Teen Science Cafe program in your community and state. It is also a great resource to learn what other STEM programs are being offered in your region that might want to partner with you on your teen science cafe.  Take a minute to explore it today and register your STEM programs.

Girl focused STEM Programs already registered with the Teen Science Café Network can apply for a mini-grant up to $1,000. 

Learn More about The Connectory
Welcome to the Network

Help us welcome our new members


“Open Source” Teen Science Café - San Fransisco Bay area.  

Vedant Sathye and Satvik Narasimhan are the Teen Founders of this cafe. After they each contacted the TSCN Resource Center independently, expressing interest in starting cafés, they were introduced to each other and decided to collaborate as Teen Founders to launch this initiative​. Their first cafe is planned to be held in January at The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose.  

"We have a very rich scientific community in the San Francisco Bay area. However, teens’ direct access to these scientists is lacking. Our café will help bridge the gap and help nurture a deeper relevance to science and scientific innovation. Our community is home to some of top tier science universities and is at the cutting edge of innovation. We hope to be able to tap into these resources."

eSTEA​M Club - Gastonia NC 

Ciera Mack, founder of the eSTEAMClub added a teen science café to serve teens who have outgrown her programs.

About the pre-existing Club:
"I’ve created the eSTEAM Club to give kids a fun and safe environment to explore Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Math Fields. I wanted to give kids in Gaston County the cost-free opportunity to create science experiments, build robots, debate ideas, and put on plays all while learning and interacting with their peers. I’ve created these programs called Quests where kids can earn awards for completing experiments, developing creative ideas, and solving puzzles. Working on projects within the community will help them to get to know more about Gaston County and to develop strong ties to our area. In addition, they’ll also be able to showcase their skills and highlight these projects on college applications."

From member page:
"The eSTEAM Club gives kids a cost-free, fun, and safe environment to explore Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Math fields while playing and working together using a Project Based Learning approach. This teen science café will expand the club’s options for teens to give them access to an atmosphere they can enjoy while exploring topics they can relate to."

Piner High STEM Café​ - Santa Rosa, CA

Judy Barcelon and other science teachers at Piner High School bring their extremely popular pre-existing after-school science café to the Network's membership. Their school is more than 50% Hispanic. And, their cafés are welcome to all teens, not just those from Piner High. 

Their café titles are catchy, ie. "Dinosaur Uproar!" and they "blast" their café advertisements all over the place.Their café advertising is extremely effective: one of their recent cafés was standing-room only (!)...which Judy acknowledges they need to balance. 

From member page:
​"​Our monthly after-school café brings dynamic scientists into the Piner community—where we all interact directly with Scientific professionals. We start the program with an interactive presentation where we are guided along some learning path, of we have the speaker follow our path of curiosity by answering our direct questions. After enjoying a cafe-themed snack we gather at tables where we get our hands on something scientific. This post-café part allows us to explore, talk, get messy and celebrate learning …together!​"​

Boys & Girls Club of Fitchburg and Leominster Teen Science Café - Leominster, M​A 

Dr. Peter Olszak is a laser physicist and professor at a local community college, and also works part-time as the STEAM Coordinator at the Boys & Girls Club of Fitchburg and Leominster. He and his BGC Director are excited to make this café the first at a BGC, and hope that it might serve as a pilot for future cafés at other BGCs.​

T​his is also the first TSC in Massachusetts!​

​BGC mission statement (on their member page):
“To inspire and enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible, and caring citizens.”

Teen Science Cafe of Rutherford County - Nashville TN

Jerri Birkofer is very excited to launch a TSC in her community. She has a broadcasting class at her high school that she hopes to engage in making videos of their teen cafes and they may even host virtual cafes. There are 3-4 colleges in Nashville for her to partner with including Vanderbilt, Tribeca & Tennessee State. She plans to hold cafes at two locations with very different demographics in the community.

From her membership application:
"I would like a Teen Cafe that focuses on the interest of the teens themselves and guide them toward potential careers or hobbies as adults. A chance for the students without a ton of social experiences to get a close up hands on view of science and scientists. I love Earth Science but would think the cafes need to be all of science and STEM areas. I like the idea of local companies and scientist that work for companies to come and talk to students and share what they do."


Which Bucket Will Fill Up First?

Here's something to share in your cafés.

Maybe it’s our tendency to overcomplicate things, but this problem should be a lot easier than it is. However, this photo continues to frustrate brilliant minds across the internet. The question has over 100 responses and counting on Quora, and they’re not simply “Number 3.”

So What's The Answer?

Well, like most things in science, it depends on the variables, conditions and what you assume about ideal conditions. Some people say tank 3, others swear on 3 and 4 simultaneously.

The easiest thing to do is eliminate pots 1 and 2 as answers because of basic physics. Pots 3 and 4 would have to fill up first before 2 and 1. The next steps are where it gets tricky.

In a theoretical world, pots 3 and 4 fill up at the same time. That assumes all tanks and pipe connections are identical, room temperature and pressure is constant, and the fluid being used is, in fact, water.

Or, if you’re like others answers, you consider the flow rate. A ton of pressure and a high flow rate would mean the pots fill up sequentially 1, 2, 3, and 4. However, most people are assuming a low, constant flow rate for this (we assume due to the droplets on the original picture). Low flow rates change that order with 3 filling first, then shortly followed by 4.

The answers surrounding this question are great, and you can clearly see a line drawn between the engineers and the physicists.

The only way to really know, however, is to test the theory. And it’s only a matter of time before someone gets frustrated enough with previous answers and indecisiveness and decides to build their own version of this mind game.

Spotlight on TSCN Co-Director Michael Mayhew

This month we change the pace and go within the Teen Science Café Network to shine the Spotlight on our very own Co-Director Michael Mayhew. 

Exciting times are a head for the Teen Science Café Network. 

Read the full interview on TSCN's Spotlight blog.
POPNet Openings
Is your organization interested in:
  • Offering professional development in communication for local scientists and researchers?
  • Hosting public programs and events featuring face-to-face conversations with these scientists?
  • Joining a community of practice dedicated to scientist-and-public engagement?
The Pop Network invites you to join the dozens of science centers, zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens, and universities that have adopted the Portal to the Public (PoP) framework and joined the PoP Network. PoP’s framework and associated resources help informal learning organizations connect visitors with the research happening in their own communities through face-to-face conversations and activities with local scientists. Whether launching new initiatives or strengthening existing programs, organizations can adapt the PoP framework to meet a variety of organization goals.
New organizations are now welcomed to join the PoP Network in our next round, which kicks off with a training workshop at Pacific Science Center in Seattle, WA, Feb. 27 – Mar. 1, 2017. Log on to our website ( for more information on joining. Some site scholarships and travel stipends are available.

Cool Café

The Science of Cooking

This month, our Cool café report comes from the  Michigan STEAM Café.

Caprisha Curry of Michigan State University led a short discussion on the science and history of cooking. The teens grouped up and set out to cook recipes with proper measurements and instruction. Bake “fried” chicken, Cheesy Turkey Mac, and Blueberry Muffins were on the menu.

Read the full story on our Cool Café Page.

Want to feature your most recent café? Submit a Cool Café entry. 

TSCN Photo Contest

We Have a Winner!
Congratulations to the Mote Marine Lab Teen Science Café!

This photo is from Mote Marine Laboratory's October 26th, 2016 cafe Sharks vs Dolphins: The Real Story featuring speaker Krystan Wilkinson.  In this picture, cafe participants observe shark jaws and work as a team to identify each species.  Featured speaker Krystan Wilkinson looks on to observe progress.

Photo credit: Allison Nahrwold, Mote Marine Laboratory High School Intern

Do you think you have a photo that can top this one?  We will continue with the TSCN Photo contest for another month. Send in your best photo from your most recent café for your chance to win Teen Science Café Network prizes. Our panel of judges -- chosen from across the Network -- will choose the picture that best describes what a Teen Science Café is. The winner will be featured as the cover photo on the TSCN Social Media sites for a month, and will receive a box of goodies for your café. 

Contest will run through November 30th. Winners will be chosen December 1st. Send your pictures to RJ Montano at If you do not want to send a picture, please volunteer to be a judge.

Found on the Forum

"Is there a way to develop a "Farm System" to bring younger teens into the Teen Leadership team?"

Visit the Forum or tweet us @TeenScienceCafe 

Share your Social Media

Share your pages with the Network

We would like to connect you and your social media sites with everyone else across the Network. Please send your information to our Communications Specialist, RJ Montaño at so we can share your sites, and drive more traffic your way!

Also, thanks to everyone who helped get the Teen Science Café Network Twitter followers to over 500!!!
Teen Science Cafés empower teens to grasp the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics discoveries changing our lives. The Cafés open doors to these careers by connecting teens with professionals who share their passion and enthusiasm for their work. Teen Cafés enhance teens’ ability to use facts to support scientific points of view, to consider societal impacts of discoveries, and fortify science as a cornerstone in their life.
Teen Science Cafés for lifelong impact.
Copyright © 2016 Teen Science Café Network, All rights reserved.

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This work is supported, in part, by the National Science Foundation (NSF) under Grant    #1223830. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this  material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of NSF.


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