Café Sci - keeping science real
Café Sci is a flexible format for secondary school students of any age. To be involved you need to be interested in communicating science and have a willingness to enthuse school students about it. In short you need enthusiasm, commitment and a desire to make a difference. Taking part can develop your professional skills, such as communication and presentation skills, and can make you more aware of developments in school science. But most of all, Café Sci gives you the reward of working with enthusiastic young people, introducing them to some fascinating areas of science as well as helping them develop the questioning, investigative skills that they will need throughout life.
Café Sci isn't a science club, debating society or classroom activity. It is a lunchtime or after-school event, where the emphasis is on the science and the issues which it raises. It provides a gateway into promoting science and higher education, and a chance to introduce real-world science into a non-classroom environment. The format is very simple – you will introduce a topic and your interest in it. This introduction will last about 10 - 15 minutes. After that the floor is opened up for discussion - students questioning the speaker, the speaker questioning students and students questioning each other!
Cafés are informal, and for that reason we prefer them not to take place in a classroom. Speakers are unencumbered by technology (no microphones or slideshows allowed) and cafés have been held in cafeterias, common rooms, libraries and even outside - anywhere that students can relax, eat and join in.
Lunchtime or after school, whichever suits the school best. Some schools provide simple drinks and food to help generate a good atmosphere and encourage students to come along. It is up to you to decide on how many events you take part in – you may find that you can only do one a year, or you may forge a long lasting relationship with a school and take part once a term.
Café Sci offers a chance for you to think deeply with young people on scientific matters. This means you must be prepared to answer questions on all sorts of issues that might arise from your talk and to keep an open mind about (and be willing to discuss) them. You will need to talk to the school about what topic the students would like to discuss, but the emphasis is on enabling young people to explore new and interesting issues.
Interested? Find out how you can get started...