STEM Teens Leadership Council Parents Page
Academy of Science – St. Louis
Teen Science Café
STEM Teens Leadership Council
What is a Teen Science Café?
Teen Science Cafés are an offshoot of adult science cafes, an international fast growing movement to bring free, informal discussions about science into the mainstream.
What is the Gateway Teen Science Café?
The Academy of Science – St. Louis, Cahokia High School, and the St. Louis Science Center (SLSC) work together to bring the Teen Science Café program to the St. Louis region. Gateway Teen Science Cafés are at non-school community venues and are generally held early evenings on weeknights, or occasionally on weekends or school holidays. The 2-hour program consists of a science presentation, discussion and related activity, i.e., game play, computer challenges or experiments. Food and refreshments are provided.
Academy Teen Science Cafes are powered by our STEM Teens Leadership Council—area teens in grades 6-12 who apply and are accepted to serve on the council for the academic school year. Applications are available every year in August.
If your student has been accepted to serve on the 2018-2019 STEM Teens Leadership Council, a completed waiver, signed by a parent or guardian, is required before your student may participate. You may access the on-line waiver by clicking the Waiver Button in the lower right hand corner of this page, or by clicking HERE.
STEM Teen Council Leaders will have the opportunity to:
- Earn service hour credits at Teen Science Cafes and planning meetings and by volunteering at other Academy events as opportunities arise.
- Add leadership experience to their resume, or high school and college applications.
- Increase awareness and knowledge of how science, technology, engineering, and math change our world.
- Explore new and varied science topics.
- Gain a deeper appreciation of the importance of science in their daily lives.
- Meet and interact with working scientists and STEM professionals.
In contrast to the typical teen experience in school or at home, members of the Youth Leadership Teams have every opportunity to run the show and take charge—involvement at a level that sustains their ongoing commitment and enthusiasm.
How does this happen?
Youth Leadership Teams are created at each site and the Youth Leaders run all aspects of the Cafe planning meetings, from helping to determine what topics will be presented and discussed, to being involved in the program promotion in their respective communities. Adult leaders assist and provide support as needed.
What are the STEM Teens Leadership Council responsibilities?
- Attend at least five planning meetings, four Teen Science Café events for their site, and at least three dry run presentations.
- Attend the September training meeting.
- Be available for planning meetings that are generally held on the second Tuesdays of the month from 6 – 7:30 pm throughout the school year.
Youth Leaders are also expected to participate in the planning and implementation of Teen Science Café events. Duties include setting up the meeting, assist with developing ice-breaker activities, leading and organizing the food table, leading and staffing the welcome table, welcoming remarks, introducing the presenter, interacting with teen cafe attendees and assisting with hands-on activities, leading the closing ceremony, cleaning up, advertising and recruiting.
Where do the planning meetings take place?
Planning meetings are always at the Academy of Science – St. Louis offices (located on the 2nd floor of the St. Louis Science Center).
Where do the dry-runs take place? And what is a dry-run?
Youth leaders have an opportunity to see the café presentation before the big event. Scientists run through their slides, presentation and activities with the teens and get feedback. The dry runs normally take place at one of two locations (the Academy offices or the Science Center’s Taylor building). These events are scheduled with the scientist and are generally early evenings on a weeknight, but can vary on day of the week and time. We only require students to attend three dry runs.
Where and when do the cafes take place?
Each café is scheduled with the scientist, so the days and times can vary. We do ask students to prioritize attending the cafes but we understand that there are sometimes immovable conflicts including homework!
Students should always put school first. The cafes are usually a Tuesday or Thursday evening, but we have hosted cafes on days off from school, other weeknights, and occasionally on weekends. Locations vary – The Academy has no permanent event space so we borrow space from organizations across the metro area. Typically we use college campuses or library meeting rooms, but we’re always looking for new, fun space!
What is the Academy of Science – St. Louis?
Since 1856, when Dr. George Engelmann, James B. Eads and other prominent visionaries of the day formed The Academy of Science in St. Louis, it has been a leader in the advancement and integration of science and technology into contemporary society.
Today, Academy resources are entirely mission focused, on expanded scientific outreach, education, resource sharing, and the recognition of scientific accomplishment. Academy partners include every scientific sector—academic, public, corporate and private—from a broad range of science, medicine, engineering and technology concerns.