Teen Science Café

Opportunity is open and accepting interest forms.

Teen Science Café

Teen Science Café programs are a free, fun way for teens to engage in lively conversations with STEM experts that explore the advances in science and technology that affect their lives. In these events, teens socialize over teen-friendly food and drink and have a lively conversation with local scientists and engineers about current cutting-edge developments in their fields, all in a relaxed and informal out-of-school setting. Teen Science Cafés are for teens, by teens. A core group of Teen Leaders, with the committed mentorship of an Adult Leader, plan and run the café programs. They welcome as diverse of a teen crowd as possible—diverse in ethnicity, culture, gender, and motivations for learning about science. Teen Science Cafés are not just for the science geeks; they are for all curious teens. Along the way, teen organizers gain a host of leadership skills. Cafés are typically run about an hour and a half once per month during the school year.

Description of the Opportunity

To qualify, a Rural Fellow must:

  1. 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.
  2. Work in a rural area, as defined by population size and distance from a city
  3. Have a commitment to STEM education outside of school
  4. 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:

  1. Become involved in a community of practice focused on STEM youth development in out-of-school settings in rural areas;
  2. Recruit participating high school aged teens to participate in all 7 Teen Science Cafes, communicate with teens regarding Teen Science Cafe meetings, logistics etc.
  3. Design and implement a series of 7 Teen Science Cafés including identifying scientist mentors to speak at every Teen Science Cafe
  4. Participate in professional development about Teen Science Cafés and their impact
  5. Create a STEM asset map of the resources in their rural communities;
  6. Work with project researchers to examine the impact of the Cafés, using surveys and observational tools;
  7. Collaborate with evaluators and researchers to interpret research findings within the context of their own rural communities.

Benefits to Rural Fellows:

  1. All Fellows receive a stipend of $2000 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.)
  2. Travel expenses will be covered by the project.
  3. 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.

Participating Network Teams:

Program Providers in rural communities

Timeline

  • July 15 – September 30, 2021: Networks and partners recruit 10 Rural Fellows to participate in training, identify high school aged teens, lead Teen Science Cafes, and participate in evaluation activities from October 2021 – September 2022.
  • October – November 2021: Rural Fellows onboard high school aged teens and participate in training activities.
  • November 2021 – May 2022: Rural Fellows design and implement 7 Teen Science Cafes.
  • June – September 2022: Rural Fellows participate in evaluation activities (i.e. surveys, interviews, and/or focus groups etc)

Learn more about the opportunity here.

Closed Opportunities

Description of the Opportunity

Participating Network Teams: Maximum 24 participants (minimum two people from each Network)

Community of Practice Sessions – Attend 5, 1 hour community of practice sessions to review research and promising practices for family engagement and develop and action plan for their Network. (Note: A ‘Network Team’ consists of at least two people from a State: one Network staff member and a partner or program provider).

Training – Recruit at least two family members to participate in a virtual, two-part Technovation training that helps parents/guardians and families support their children in engineering and STEM at home.

Coaching – Participate in 1, one-hour coaching call (or a limited series of check-ins) with Linda Kekelis to further develop deeper family engagement across Network partners with equity and access as priorities.

Commitment from Network

1. State Networks will identify a ‘Network Team’ consisting of at least two people to participate in the Community of Practice over five months

2. Network teams recruit at least two family members to participate in a two-part Technovation training for families

3. Network teams complete a brief survey and evaluation activities at the conclusion of the Community of Practice

4. Network Teams liaise with Sabrina Gomez to ensure all aspects of the Booster Pack are met

Criteria

1.Open to all State Networks

2. State Network and participating programs commitment to fully participate in all aspects of the Booster Pack

Timeline

January 2021 – Networks Lead apply with Network team in mind; Networks notified by January 22nd.

February – May 2021 – Network team attend five Community of Practice sessions; Receives individual coaching with Linda Kekelis

February – March 2021 – Family Engagement Trainings with Technovation (one, 60 minute training, per month)

May-June 2021 – Evaluation and assessment activities