Teen Science Cafe – Rural Fellows




Teen Science Cafe

Teen Science Cafes are an ideal way of introducing youth to STEM careers that are hiding in plain sight in their rural communities—careers like engineering, disaster response, cybersecurity, advanced manufacturing, and aviation. The goal of this project is to impact underserved rural youth by cultivating a mindset among teens that STEM IS EVERYWHERE.

Together, we will evaluate the impacts of participating in the TSC program using surveys that explore STEM attitudes, identity, and interest in STEM careers. Through participating in TSCs, we anticipate that teens will engage in more STEM outside of school, be able to identify the opportunities for doing STEM in their regions, and learn from STEM professionals about career pathways within their community and beyond. They will also develop leadership skills as they help design and implement Teen Science Cafés.


Target Audience 

Program Providers in rural communities.


To qualify, a Rural Fellow must:

Already be working with a group of high school aged teens outside of school, for example, through 4-H Clubs, science centers, summer camps, or afterschool programs. The goal is to build upon existing youth groups by adding a Teen Science Café component.

Work in a rural area, as defined by population size and distance from a city Have a commitment to STEM education outside of school.

Be excited about leading a series of TSCs as well as participating in the project’s research and community of practice.


Role and Responsibilities of Rural Fellows:

Become involved in a community of practice focused on STEM youth development in out-of-school settings in rural areas.

Design and implement a series of 7 Teen Science Cafés including identifying scientist mentors to speak at every Teen Science Cafe.

Participate in professional development about Teen Science Cafés and their impact.

Create a STEM asset map of the resources in their rural communities.

Work with project researchers to examine the impact of the Cafés, using surveys and observational tools.

Collaborate with evaluators and researchers to interpret research findings within the context of their own rural communities.


Benefits to Rural Fellows:

  • All Fellows receive support for involvement in the project over a 12-month period and will participate in monthly virtual gathering and one in-person workshop (depending on COVID restrictions.).
  • Rural Fellows will become part of an existing Community of Practice where best practices are explored and the professional isolation that is common to rural educators is overcome.
  • $2,000 stipends are provided to Fellows to support the implementation of Teeen Science Cafes



September 1: TSC Fellows are notified of acceptance


Apply Here