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News, Resources, Events and more for Your Teen Science Café
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NEWS

Join us at the Annual TSCN Meeting
The Resource Center has  travel funds for up to 30 Members to attend the Annual Team Meeting. The two-day meeting will focus on achieving the goals of our NSF-funded project, the most important of which is building a strong community of practice around teen science cafes. The meeting will facilitate communication, collaborations, sharing expertise, and training that expands our thinking about teen cafes and our capabilities to provide the best café experiences. Team picture
TSCN Members at the 2013 Meeting.

We will select participants to ensure the broadest and most diverse representation of Teen Science Cafes across the Network. The meeting, hosted by our Gateway St. Louis node, will be held in November in St. Louis.
 
Please complete the Network Meeting Planning Poll by August 4, to be considered for travel funding. Please share this information with members of your team. New Members are especially encouraged to apply.

Support Growth of Teen Cafés
Mentor signTSCN Members have been raising awareness of the benefits and impacts of Teen Science Cafes at national and regional meetings this year.  Many individuals and organizations have expressed interest in starting a Teen Science Café, thus we are launching a New Member Campaign to recruit, train, and mentor these new Members as a cohort. Welcoming them as a cohort, we can offer more dynamic and high quality training and mentoring and an immediate sense of community. We will send invitational letters to  potential Members and all current Members in the next couple of weeks. Please forward the invitation to persons within your own networks that might be interested in joining us.  
 
New Member Training
We are recruiting Members who would like to share their expertise in leading a teen science café with new Members.

Last year, Members teamed up to provide a series of trainings in an area of their expertise to new or potential Members. Feedback from the experienced Members was overwhelmingly positive;  it gave them an unexpected opportunity to work with highly talented peers across the Network and form new professional collaborations.

The impact on the new Members was equally positive; they gained the knowledge and lessons learned of building a teen café without as many hard knocks along the way! The webinar series will begin in September.  Please contact us, if interested in being a trainer!

HEARD AROUND THE NETWORK

Lots of People Coming and Going!
There have been a number of people picking up stakes and moving to new and exciting opportunities. We wish them well and hope that in their new positions, they will be able to reconnect with the TSCN. Keep in touch!

Sean Herberts, at the Gateway Teen Café will be heading to Riverton IL Middle School in the fall, following his passion for being in the classroom. He plans to stay connected and hopes to mentor some new Members this fall.

Nicole Gugliucci will be taking over for Sean. Nicole has a strong background in social media and is a professional astronomer. Here's to Nicole helping the TSCN reach the stars!

Lanika Ruzhitskaya, adult leader at the new Teen Science Cafe -MU (Missouri University), has accepted the position of  Director of Science Outreach Center at Saint Francis University in Pennsylvania. Lanika is an astronomer as well and plans to launch a teen science café once she gets her feet on the ground.

Stephanie Arduini returned to her home state to become Director of Education at the American Civil War Museum. There are lots of ways to connect science and war—we hope she gets creative and starts a new themed teen cafe.

Thank you very much for including us in the incredible journey of teen science cafes. We learned much from our first year and our excited to begin our second year this Fall.
 
Beth Wesche, who has been running the Pacific Science Center teen science café during Stephanie's maternity leave will continue in that role. She is an incredible talent and we are grateful for her leadership and the continuity she brings to the program.  

Meena Selvakumar has decided to explore new directions in her career and has left the Pacific Science Center.  In her place, Ann McMahon will be the director of the Science and Education Division. Welcome Ann!
 
 

EVENTS

TSCN Advisory Committee Meeting will be held Jul 21-22, 2014 in Chicago.
 
TSCN Member Michelle Hall will present at the Kansas Afterschool Network Meeting on October 6-8, 2014
 
TSCN will be represented at the Association of Science and Technology Centers Conference in Raleigh NC by nearly a dozen Members. The host institution for the meeting is the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, part of our NC Open Minds node.
 
TSCN is collaborating with the Thirty Meter Telescope Project to introduce teen science cafes as an international component of their outreach program.
 
Send notices of where you will be presenting on Teen Science Café activities for our newsletter.
 

RESOURCES

Each month we will highlight resources Members have found useful in their work. Submit your suggestions for next month.
 
There are so many ways to learn at teen science cafés. Digital libraries are great sources for getting ideas for inquiry or a ready made activity aligned with your topic. Read more about How To Smile  as a resource.
How To Smile — the Informal Educators' STEM Portal
We have recently discovered the richness of ideas and activities available at this site. Focused on informal, out-of-school learning environments, it has activities for kids of all ages. Because of the informal learning perspective, we have found that resources for younger learners can more easily be adapted for older learners. To give a sense of the breadth of resources, we searched for inquiry activities that could have been used at some of our more recent cafés at Café Scientifique NM
 
For our Mars café – they have a wonderful resource comparing the geology of Mars and Earth. Teens can use color photographic images in the Earth and Mars activity to discover what's the same, and what's different, between geological formations on Earth and Mars. Compare large landforms including craters, canyons and volcanoes and discuss what forces shaped them on both planets. 

For our Geology and Minerals of New Mexico, we found a Mineral Scavenger Hunt from the Smithsonian Museum teaching teens about the minerals we use in everyday life.

For Finding a Cure for HIV/AIDS,  the teens can map the spread of the HIV/AIDS disease and identify the demographic and economic linkages to high rates of disease.

 
Games are powerful tools for learning and can be perfect for a teen science café. With climate, energy and water issues dominating our news, what better way to learn about the relationships among them than with seriously fun learning games?

The Challenge and Persuade and Thirst for Power games are not about facts, but systems…big, complex systems that can be  hard to wrap your head around... energy, climate, and water systems—social, political, and environmental systems.
 
Thirst for Power challenges players to build a balanced energy – water – climate system and in the process they learn about the many choices made daily that touch these systems
 
In Challenge and Persuade players build arguments for and against different energy, climate and water choices. Robust argumentation is at the heart of scientific reasoning, and a doorway to challenge players’ beliefs with new understandings that lead to better solutions.
 
Give them a play at your next teen café!
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