Accelerating success with teen science cafés
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Teen Science Café Network Year in Review
With the help of our members, it has been a tremendous year for growth and prosperity at the Teen Science Café Network. At this time, we would like to recognize the great accomplishments some of our members have achieved and shared with the network during 2016. 
STEM Kids NYC Featured Nationally on NBC
Recently, one of or very own Teen Science Café adult mentors was featured on NBC’s show GIVE. Jenna Bush-Hager, NBC News Correspondent and daughter of former President George W. Bush visited two charities in New York City, one being STEM Kids NYC which is founded by TSCN Member Yvonne Thevenot. In the show, Bush-Hager goes undercover as Sally Shaker, a documentary film producer, and learns all about STEM Kids NYC seeing the great things Yvonne has put together in Harlem. In the episode, Yvonne shares the emotional story of how she started non-profit STEM Kids NYC after the passing of her father who inspired Yvonne into STEM. 

Read the Full Story 
Montana Cafés Accessible in Rural Areas 

In May of 2016, Alex McMenamin, a second  year doctoral student with Montana State University's Molecular BioSciences Program presented his work on viruses and pathogens that have been associated with the decrease in honeybees populations around the world to the Montana Teen Science Café program.

"These viruses were only recently discovered, so we think it's important to understand whether they're having an impact on colony health," said McMenamin. "Part of that is understanding the viruses themselves."

This fall, Alex re-recorded his presentation to share with teens around the very large state (ranked 4th in size geographically), and created a hands-on activity that can be used with his presentation.

Read the Full Story 
Mt. Laurel, NJ Teen Earns Girl Scouts Honor

From the Mt Laurel Sun:

A young girl can learn a lot during 10 years of participation in the Girl Scouts; however putting what she has learned into practice takes hard work and determination. Possessing these characteristics, along with having many accomplishments, is what led cadet Sanjana Jampana of Mt. Laurel to be asked to host the annual Girl Scout Achievement Awards on Sunday, June 5.

At this ceremony, she also received the Gold Award on the award’s 100th anniversary for co-founding a new branch of the National Science Foundation-sponsored Teen Science Cafe Network, benefiting almost 50 middle school students in her individual branch. In the past, she has also completed Bronze and Silver projects.

Read the Full Story 
Whiteville, NC Year In Review

Can’t believe we are in year 5 of Teen Science Cafes already!  The Whiteville node continues to grow and thrive as we strive to make more community partnerships to help our teens realize the potential for future employability in STEAM fields right here in Columbus County and the surrounding areas.  Our local hospital system’s (CRHS:  Columbus Regional Healthcare System) Foundation donated $2500 to our cause in February which helped fund the remaining Spring Cafes, two summer programs and a trip for the leadership group to Bald Head Island.

July was busy for TSC Whiteville despite it being off-season for the program.  We took up the invitation from our April Cafe presenters, Kathryn Davenport and Teresa Lengner from Southeastern Community College (SCC), to visit the Education Lab at the College and perform a micropropagation experiment in their sterile lab environment as well as build a mushroom box.  While we were there, one of the college counselors came and spoke to the teen participants about SCC and its programs and about general information regarding preparation for the college application process.

Read the Full Story 
Caldwell Library Engineering and Science Café Awarded
From the Idaho Press:

The Caldwell Optimist Club has donated $200 to the Caldwell Public Library to help fund the first two events of the program Teen Science Cafe.

According to Optimist Club member Robert Kafka, who emailed us about it, the program’s concept comes from the Cafe Scientifique gatherings European adults held to listen to presentations on science and engineering topics. Robert said there are Science Cafes in 27 states around the United States, all geared toward teenagers.

This is a free program for youth in grades 6-12. In it, engineering or science professionals give 15-minute presentations that encourage interaction and try to answer the question, “Why would anyone care about this?”

There have been two Science Cafe events so far, with the first being in October and featuring Rita Dixon, a state wildlife action coordinator with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. The second was in November, and the presenter was Brian Jackson, an astrophysicist from Boise State University. The Optimists provided food for both events.

There isn’t a presentation scheduled for December, but there will be one on Jan. 19 (a Thursday). The speaker has yet to be announced, though, so all you teens and parents of teens will need to keep an eye on (or else bug the librarians incessantly; both work) to find out who will be presenting.


Read the Full Story 
Open Minds Teen Science Café Node Wins Award
We are excited to share that Burroughs Wellcome Fund (BWF) has awarded $58,350 to support the North Carolina node of the Teen Science Cafes!  This will fund the program for 1 year at the Raleigh, Whiteville and Morehead Planetarium sites. 
2016 TSCN Workshop Recap

It almost felt like summer camp. The anticipation for the Teen Science Café Network workshop grew higher and higher the closer we got to August. We didn’t know what to expect. Sure, we had the agenda and schedules before hand, but what did it all really mean? Who were we going to meet? Where in the world is Albuquerque? What am I going to take away from four days of a workshop?

Read the Full Story 
TSCN Open Mic Recap

Teen Leaders are the cornerstone of every Teen Science Café. For those that missed the most recent Teen Science Café Network Open Mic Session on Building and Maintaining Vibrant Youth Leaders, or for anyone who needs a refresher, you’re in luck! We have the Open Mic video and some documents that will help you on your journey to create and maintain those amazing teen leaders.

On November 22nd, 2016 three experts from around the Teen Science Café Network shared their tips and stories on how they maintain successful programs with teen leaders they can rely on.

Open Minds Teen Science Café Raleigh, NC Digital Café


Since it's inception, the Open Minds Teen Science Café has broadcast their cafés on Livestream and archived them online. As the times have changed, so have ways of broadcasting. To be more interactive, Open Minds is starting to broadcast on Facebook Live as well as Livestream.

Even more exciting is the pilot Café Replay program that has started this year.  Open Minds Café have started a pilot program where we host a Café Replay two weeks after the event.  We are currently partnering with a group called Fathers Forever, a non-profit who works with the court system to get dads more engaged with their children.  Every third Friday, we visit their site and we watch the recorded replay and do the activity.  We bring all the supplies from the first café so that they are able to have a similar experience.  

To help share their experience, the Open Minds Teen Science Café will present a webinar in early 2017. 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.  

Part One of this Webinar will reflect on how to use live streaming platforms to extend your reach, while Part Two will discuss how to further utilize your video content even after your Cafe has ended.  


Welcome to the Network

New To The TSCN This Month


1) North Branch Area Science Café – Science Rediscovered  
North Branch, MN

Peter Grund - student (a junior) and employee at North Branch Area Public Schools approached his teacher wanting to do something to bring to life the concepts he was learning about in his high school biology class. His teacher had read about teen science cafes in the Sept NSTA article and suggested he start one. Peter will be coordinating the program. He is currently the coordinator for the Science Club. He also is an employ of the school district as a Technology Assistant. This involves constant communication with dozens of teachers and administrators regarding the functioning and implication of technology throughout all 4 buildings.

From member page:
"The North Branch Science Café is a series of events that allow local and statewide scientists to communicate their scientific interests to high school age teens. The Café strives to provide a casual environment that promotes science learning in a non-traditional format. Events will be monthly from November until May."

2) Four Corners Teen Science Cafe 

Lead Institution: E3 Children's Museum and Science Center, Farmington, New Mexico

Cherie Powell, educator @ E3 with support from local STEM ed advocates and using pre-existing partnerships with other local organizations that have experience in reaching teenagers.

"Our cafe has an enthusiastic group of adults and teenagers who meet once a month during the school year, to participate in interactive presentations that highlight our region’s strength’s, industry, and place-based resources, in the areas of science, technology, engineering, art, and math, emphasizing the scientific basis of each. Student leaders will plan, implement, and lead evening programs which will include discussion, activities, food, and an expert presentation."


3) Caldwell Library Engineering & Science Café  

Lead Institution: Caldwell Public Library, Caldwell, Idaho

Fiona May, Youth Services Supervisor

Enjoy science in a casual setting! Caldwell Public Library will host monthly Science Cafes. The library is part of the Treasure Valley Teen Engineering and Science Cafe Network.  


MOTE Marine Lab 
Teen Science Café Feature

Photo by: Edward Lismier, Education Week

From Education Week's Marva Hinton:

Nearly 40 teenagers came together at a public library late on a Wednesday afternoon here last month to listen to a marine biologist talk about phytoplankton. These microscopic marine plants live suspended in water and can grow out of control, causing harmful algal blooms that form what is known as a red tide.

The setting was informal: As they snacked on pizza and soda, the students sat around large tables or stretched out on the floor while Jennifer Vreeland went through her scientific presentation.

These students were taking part in what's known as a "teen science cafe," one of a growing number of such events happening across the country.

Read the article

Spotlight on Teresa Madrid

It's difficult to describe Albuquerque, both ancient and cutting edge, equal parts cool and quaint. It's an oasis in the high desert. Full of people with rich histories and inspiring ideas you won't find anywhere else. There's truly no other city like it.

Albuquerque is where we find Teresa Madrid, the Adult Mentor to Café Scientifique's Albuquerque site, and our December member Spotlight.  

Read the full interview on TSCN's Spotlight blog.

Cool Café

Marine Biology

This month, our Cool café report comes from the Teen Costal Science Café.

At the Cafe, Brook Wheatly and Lea Humphrey explained what a day as a marine biologist in the Protected Resource Section of the Division of Marine Fisheries in the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources is like in and out of the field. They also explained how they got to be where they’re at now by telling us what schools they attended, the volunteer work they did, their internships, and their prior job experiences.

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 Open Minds Teen Science Café Whiteville!

Whiteville EMS presented to the Open Minds Teen Science Café Whiteville and helped the teens better understand how to save lives by showing them some equipment and techniques. Whiteville, NC EMS also shared experiences from the field.

Photo credit: Vicki DiMuzio

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 December 31st. Winners will be chosen January 2nd. Send your pictures to RJ Montano at If you do not want to send a picture, please volunteer to be a judge.

Share The Love

Who is videotaping and distributing videos of your cafés? Members want to know what other café events look and feel like.

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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