Accelerating success with teen science cafés
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New Member Open Mic Chat

Join Us Thursday! 
April 6th


Join fellow Teen Science Café Network New Members and the TSCN National Resource Center staff for this informal Q&A session and exchange of ideas, whether you're brand new or more experienced we can help you with new ideas for your Teen Science Café programming. This is a great way to focus on your cafe for 20-30 minutes, and give you that boost your café may need!   

We welcome ALL of our members, new and battle tested, to participate and share their experiences and knowledge with our newest members. 

  • Need tips on coaching a presenter?
  • Wondering how to measure your success?
  • Need ideas on training your Teen Leaders?
  • Pitch your most challenging question to the audience and we will share our good, bad, and funny experiences that helped us grow programs.

Our Panel:

  • Michelle Hall - Co-Director of TSCN
  • Michael Mayhew - Co-Director of TSCN
  • Sara Fyke - Network Outreach
  • RJ Montaño - Communications & Marketing

New Member Open Mic Chat 
Thu, Apr 6, 2017 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM MDT 

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

You can also dial in using your phone. 
United States: +1 (571) 317-3122 

Access Code: 686-093-589 

First GoToMeeting? Try a test session:



2017 TSCN Workshop

We are starting to plan our 2017 TSCN Member Conference, but we need to know if you can attend!  Please complete the polls below and indicate your availability for a summer, fall or both workshops by April 20 to influence the dates.


The goals of the 2017 TSCN Annual Conference are to:

  • Promote communication and collaboration among members, thus continuing to build a robust community of practice.
  • Build skills and keep up with new technology.
  • Share experiences with others around the Network, in particular with others in similar stages of development.
  • Learn about new program opportunities and explore ways to deepen the Teen Science Café experience for teens

The workshop is primarily focused on building community among our new and experienced members, and developing the foundation of knowledge that new members need to implement a successful teen café.
This year, we plan to hold two separate workshops designed to accommodate the diverse time constraints of the members. One will be in the summer and the other in the fall. The content will be the same. 

The two day workshop would have members travel the day before and the meeting would end late afternoon on the second day. For example, if we start on June 8, you would travel on the 7th and return home on the evening of the 9th.
We are exploring Dallas as the location, because there are direct flights from most every major city. Proposed windows for the workshop are June 8-11, June 20-23, and July 27-30. 

Topics we may consider include: Creating a welcoming and inclusive café environment; Adult Leadership; Teen Development and Mentoring; Choreography and Essence of a Teen Café; Coaching your Scientist. Once we have dates selected, we will invite members to propose topics they want to learn more about.
If you are interested in attending a workshop in this SUMMER time frame, please fill out this Doodle poll. Please indicate ALL of the days you are available.
We propose that the second workshop be held either during the time window of September 11-15 or September 18-22 for the people working in museums and similar organizations, who typically are swamped with summer programs.
If you are interested in attending a FALL workshop in this time frame, please fill out this Doodle poll:
If your schedule would accommodate either time frame, you are welcome to fill out both polls.
Your response to one or both polls will indicate your interest in attending one of the next TSCN workshops.
The National Resource Center will provide funding for travel and accommodations for one member of your TSCN site. Sites are free to fund the attendance of additional people from their site. 
It would be most helpful if you could respond to the polls no later than April 20.

If you have any questions, please email us at

Read the full 2017 TSCN Workshop Blog

BestBuy Community Grant

Grant Proposals Can Be Submitted April 1st - May 19th, 2017

The Best Buy Community Grants Program provides support to community-based organizations that are located within 50 miles of a Best Buy facility. Grants promote programs that offer hands-on learning opportunities for underserved teens to engage in learning, experimenting, and interacting with the latest technologies to build 21st century skills. 
Eligible programs must deliver community-based youth programs for teens, ages 13-18, during out of school time, and serve a diverse population. Examples of program activities include computer programming, digital imaging, music production, robotics, and gaming and mobile app development. 
The average grant amount is $5,000; grants will not exceed $10,000. Public and nonprofit community-based organizations (e.g., community centers, schools, and libraries) are eligible to apply. Online proposals may be submitted between April 1 and May 19, 2017. Visit the Best Buy website to review the program guidelines.


How to Apply  

  • Create a user profile and an organization profile.
  • Preview the required elements of the grant proposal.
  • Complete the grant proposal by 5 p.m. EDT on May 19, 2017.
  • Notification date: Aug. 31, 2017.

Fundraising For Your Café

Seeking Advertisers Can Help Fund Your Programs

While I sat at my desk reading an email asking about ways to  fund programs, I thought to myself, “What if we tried the for-profit approach?” Every Teen Science Café around the country has the capability to offer some sort of advertising with their program.

Here are a few "out-of-the-box ideas" for introducing some for-profit fundraising tactics to our programs.

The hustle is the same, the reasons why we do it are what makes us different.

Read the Ads Can Add Up Blog.

Spotlight on
Kathryn Riddle Penzkover

Kathryn has a diverse background in engineering and science education. She is currently working at the University of Colorado in the Science Discovery department. Her main focus is on high school programming at the University. Outside of work, she loves living in Boulder with her husband and two children. They enjoy camping, hiking, and mountain biking as a family; in addition, she loves soccer, volleyball, cross-country skiing, and tinkering.

Read the full interview on TSCN's Spotlight blog.

Welcome To The Network

Help Us Welcome
Our Newest Members


AAHOM’s Teen Science Café gives students in Grades 9-12 an opportunity to interact and engage in conversation with professionals from STEAM fields. Cafés are designed by our Youth Leadership Team to promote creativity, exploration and learning in a highly social setting.

Every month, students will come together at the Museum to talk about hot topics in science and participate in related activities.

  • STEM Unplugged
    Site: Largo, Maryland Coordinator: Toni Smith
    Lead Institution: In Reach, Inc.
STEM Unplugged will prepare and support a diverse group of high school teen leaders in engaging their peers in explorative forums and activities with awesome STEM professionals that inspire creativity, encourage collaboration, celebrate communication and strengthen critical thinking skills, ultimately motivating a pipeline of future STEM professionals. STEM Unplugged will be a "moving" cafe in that it will hold forums at various locations in Prince George's County, MD.
  • Café au Lait
    Site: Gonzales, Louisiana Coordinator: Esperanza Zenon
    Lead Institution: River Parishes Community College
STEM Café au Lait is dedicated to offering hands-on and mind-on STEM opportunities for girls in grades 7-10. The Café’ meets once a month at River Parishes Community College, and features a STEM professional who shares information about her background, education, and experience, while engaging the girls in STEM activities that they have expressed an interest in knowing more about.
  • The SciBucs Café 
    Site: Tampa, Florida  Coordinator: Carmen Raterman
    Lead Institution: Berkeley Preparatory School
The SciBucs Café will collaborate with the Florida Teen Science Café Node sites in Sarasota and St. Petersburg, on Florida's Gulf Coast, to bring "hands-on, cutting edge science learning" to the Berkeley Preparatory School in Tampa, Florida.
  • Kentucky Girls Science Collaborative Science Café 
    Site: Lexington, Kentucky Coordinator: Rosemary Fama
    Lead Institution: University of Kentucky and KGSC
Our KGSC Teen Board will host a series of “STEMinars” by and for high school students following the model developed by the TSCNetwork. Lexington area teens are invited to the campus of the University of Kentucky for a series of STEM seminars followed by peer discussion beginning Spring 2017. The KGSC Sci. Cafes will be structured to promote lively conversation and interaction between teens and the presenter, where the environment lends itself to hands-on, small group activities.

TSCN Stats: 71 Teen Science Cafés in 29 states


Use What Teens Know To Connect Them With STEM

Ricardo Valerdi explains how baseball can bring science, technology, engineering, and math to life for K-12 students.

Ricardo Valerdi is the Founder of the Science of Sport, a non-profit dedicated to making math and science more fun for kids through hands-on learning. He developed the Science of Baseball program for the Arizona Diamondbacks, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, and San Diego Padres; and the Science of Soccer for the Los Angeles Galaxy. He is an Associate Professor of Systems and Industrial Engineering at the University of Arizona and a Distinguished Visiting Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in the UK. He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California.

Watch Dr. Valerdi's Full TEDx Talk

Building Community
Café Partnerships

Key partnerships can enrich your Teen Science Café program and make it successful and sustainable.  

Use the ideas list below to assess your particular café needs and wants, and brainstorm what potential local partnersmay be awaiting you to ask them!

Don’t forget to consider your most important partners—your Teen Leaders—when approaching potential local partners. Prep a couple upstanding teens by asking them beforehand to think about why the Teen Science Café is important to them and why they think it is important to other teens and the community. What are their favorite things about the café? Encourage them to share their thoughts and feelings about the café with prospective partners! The teens will learn important skills in marketing, networking, partnership building, and their voice can be very influential.

Ideas for building community café partnerships. 


Cool Cafés And
Hands-On Ideas

TEDTalks Offer Great Café Ideas

The TSCN National Resource Center has compiled a list of TEDTalks we feel would translate into interesting Teen Science Cafés across the network. An ideal café includes a 15-20 minute TEDTalk type story that gives teens the opportunity to learn more about the presenter and their work. After the presentation, a great hands-on activity that connects the presentation and the science into a relatable exercise teens can use to gauge their interest in different STEM fields.

View the TEDTalks Resource.

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

"What are you doing to grow your café?"


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.

Contact us:


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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