Accelerating success with teen science cafés
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4 Ways to Show Your Teen Leaders Some Love
A number of members have voiced ideas about how to engage and feature teen leaders in the network. We share below a few ideas from TSCN members on how to involve teen leaders in the Network, but we need the help of adult leaders to share these ideas with teen leaders and get their feedback. To move forward on any of these ideas, we need to hear from all adult leaders and their teen leaders.

 1. We’ve taken notice that our Teen Leaders are going above and beyond what could be expected. We would like to give you an opportunity to recognize your go-getter Teen Leader with a Teen Spotlight to the TSCN. Just as we interview adult members, we would provide an interview template to adult leaders that want to recognize one of their teen leaders for a special contribution or sustained contribution they have made to your program. We will feature these Spotlights on our website and in the newsletter.

2. We are also toying with the idea of creating an end-of-the-year award for the top Teen Leader Network-wide. You would be able to nominate the teen leader who was exceptional throughout your entire Teen Science Café season and a panel of judges in the network would choose the winner from all submissions.

3. We have received some great Cool Café reports from Teen Leaders recently. We would like to encourage your teens to submit a Cool Café after every café. These are posted on our website at Your teens can use these published submissions in their portfolios and on college applications. Cool Café reports give folks in the network ideas for great cafes and include ideas and instructions for the hands-on element.

4. Teen Leaders from across the country have asked for a way to communicate with other Teen Leaders. We’ve hear you! As a starting point to get feedback from the teens, we will create a new Facebook Group exclusively for Teen Leaders. But, before we can create it, we need a NAME for the Facebook Group. We are asking ALL ADULT LEADERS to ask your Teen Leaders to help in naming and being active in the group. 

To submit an idea for the group name, post your ideas on the existing Teen Science Cafe Network Facebook site by Tuesday, February 14th . From February 15 - 21, all members of the network can go on the TEEN SCIENCE CAFE NETWORK Facebook page and vote for their favorite name by liking a post.  

Teen leaders can also post to the TEEN SCIENCE CAFE NETWORK Facebook page if they have other suggestions for how best to bring our teen leaders together virtually. 

We need the help of EVERY adult leader in the network to encourage their teens to join and use the Facebook group. We understand not every teen has, or admits to using Facebook, but the statistics show nearly 90% of U.S. Teens log on daily. Let’s focus on that majority for now.


Your Teen Leaders can vote for the new FB group name to the post pinned to the top of the Teen Science Café Network Facebook Page.

Please share this with your Teen Leaders!

Digital Engagement Webinar

How do you reach outside audiences including rural, low-income and minority communities?

Science Cafes have taken off as a way to empower the public by getting them involved in fun and casual discussions about science. But what about communities who may have a geographic, financial or cultural barrier preventing them from coming to your site? In this two-part Webinar, Kathryn Rende from the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences will discuss how to use video and broadcast technology to reach outside audiences including rural, low-income and minority communities.

Join us for Part Two TOMORROW

 Wednesday, February 8th 12pm Mountain (2p Eastern/11a Pacific)

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

You can also dial in using your phone. 
United States: +1 (408) 650-3123 

Access Code: 137-092-253 
Building Partnerships Webinar

Building Key Partnerships To Create A Highly Functioning Program

Community support and involvement are key to running and maintaining a great Teen Science Café Program. By offering a program where teens can explore options for college and careers by partnering with professionals and businesses to provide a forum to share experiences and expertise. By doing this, teens are exposed to relevant programing that explores interesting and insightful career options to help them answer the question, "What do I want to be when I grow up?"

Building Partnerships Webinar 
Wed, Mar 1, 2017 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM MST 

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

You can also dial in using your phone. 
United States: +1 (872) 240-3412 

Access Code: 172-099-117 

Spotlight on Tony Smith

When you think of Seattle, cheesy movies, the Space Needle, Coffee, and Pike Place Fish Market might be the first things that come to mind. But did you know Seattle is also home to the Pacific Science Center? 

This is where we find and Spotlight Tony Smith, the Adult Coordinator for the Teen Science Café Seattle program.

Read the full interview on TSCN's Spotlight blog.

Network Growth

The Teen Science Café Network is very proud to share a few stats.

  • 27 US States have at least one Teen Science Café Program, that's 54% of the US
  • 30% of US States have 2 or more Teen Science Café Programs
  • 4 US States have 5 or more Teen Science Café Programs (California, Florida, New Mexico, and North Carolina)

Teen Science Café Network Celebrates Black History Month

When it comes to famous black scientists, George Washington Carver, and Neil deGrasse Tyson probably come to mind. But do you know about Mae Jemison?

Mae Carol Jemison is an American engineer, physician and NASA astronaut. She became the first African-American woman to travel in space when she went into orbit aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour on September 12, 1992.

Growing up in the southside of Chicago, Mae Jemison was always curious about space. After graduating from Stanford University, she became a medical doctor and worked in Liberia and Sierra Leone as the Peace Corps medical officer. In 1983 she applied to the NASA program, after being inspired by Sally Ride, the first woman in space, and Nichelle Nichols, who acted in Star Trek. At NASA, she became the first female African-American to become an astronaut and go into space. After NASA, she began teaching at universities like Dartmouth College and Cornell University and founded research groups to continue the development of scientific knowledge. She is a doctor, a dancer, an astronaut and holds nine doctorate degrees in the humanities, science, and engineering. 

More about Dr. Mae Jemison.

Where To Find Presenters

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.

Here's a resource from the TSCN to help you find presenters.


Grant Opportunity


The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has announced a new grant opportunity as part of its Community Catalyst initiative. Called “Activating Community Opportunities Using Museums/Libraries as Assets—A National Leadership Grants Special Initiative,” it invites proposals for testing and developing museum and library collaborative approaches to bringing about positive community change. The application deadline is April 3, 2017. 


Cool Cafés Offer Great Hands-On Ideas

Michigan Café Looking To Set
World Record

From Jen Mann, Adult Leader at the Michigan STEAM Café :

Teens at a local alternative high school joined with two librarians and a local engineer to try and set a World Record for building the largest Sonobe Ball in the world! To get started, we needed to learn a bit about origami and polyhedrons. Dave, our engineer, taught us about the structure and dimensions of different polyhedron units and showed examples of them through his origami models.
We all made a commitment to attending weekly workshops to practice, build and troubleshoot how to create a large paper construction. To achieve the world record, the final sonobe ball has to be 8 ft tall and 100 lbs or larger. This in itself creates some logistical problems, including where to find  paper that large, but with persistence, we were successful!

Read the full café on our Cool Café Page.

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

Share The Love

"What do you LOVE most about being a mentor?"


Visit the Forum or tweet us @TeenScienceCafe 

Find and Follow Other Cafés

Join Our Web of Connectivity

We are a NETWORK. We share similar interests and experiences, but each site brings something new and special to the network. We want to see YOUR special! Join our Web of Connectivity and strut your cafe excellence! Send your social media links to our Communications Specialist, RJ Montaño at so we can share your sites, and drive more traffic your way!
Check out our  “Web of Connectivity”.
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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