Skip to main content Skip to footer
STEM banner with pictures of students.

Teen Science Café

Teen Science Café out-of-school programs are a free, fun way for teens to explore the big advances in science and technology affecting their lives. Teens and STEM experts engage in lively conversations and activities to explore a topic deeply. The Teen Science Cafe Network is a community of practice providing the highest quality resources and support to organizations who implement a teen science café. Our Teen Science Cafe specifically relies on Chief Science Officers as teen leaders to implement engaging and interactive events in our region.

Computer Science Café

In March 2024, STEM@SVSU, in collaboration with the esteemed SVSU Computer Science Department, hosted an electrifying Teen Science Café dedicated to the thrilling realms of cybersecurity and coding. Led by Saginaw Valley State University’s distinguished Dr. George Courser and his team of computer science students, attendees were immersed in an interactive journey delving into the intricacies of coding utilizing Chat GPT technology and the exhilarating art of password cracking. This dynamic exploration not only captivated the imagination of the participants but also ignited a fervent interest in potential career paths and invaluable skill acquisition within the vibrant Computer Science domain.

Health Sciences Café

In March 2023, STEM@SVSU, with the help of the Great Lakes Bay Region Chief Science Officers, held a Teen Science Café focused on the exploration of various careers in the medical field. Hosting Saginaw Valley State University’s own Medical Laboratory Sciences professor, Margot Alvey, and STEM professionals from Covenant Healthcare, participants experienced hands-on activities that introduced them to essential concepts in the medical field. This exploration helped many teens consider what career might be right for them. Read more HERE in a blog written by Chief Science Officer Christy.

Climate Change Modeling & Health Sciences Café

In May 2022, we partnered with the Great Lakes Bay Region Chief Science Officers to host a Teen Science Café. Participants chose to either attend a nursing simulation/neurosciences activity or collaborate with others on a climate change modeling simulation. The nursing lab simulation and neurosciences session included hands-on activities utilizing mannequins and healthcare equipment from the SVSU nursing school and neuroscience research and development laboratory. The climate modeling simulation employed an online tool developed by MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) in which students investigated how adjusting various factors impact the global rise in temperatures. 

“I was also able to relate topics to what I'm learning in school (Specifically genetics). I was able to learn about gene transplants which I never knew could happen.” Student Participant

Career Exploration Community Café

In March 2019, Chief Science Officers from 2 different schools collaborated to coordinate a community Teen Science Café. The event took place at SVSU and had almost 60 middle and high school students from 8 counties participate. The Community Café was setup in a speed dating style with professionals from the following STEM fields: medical, agriculture, mechanical engineering, and cybersecurity. Participating companies included Covenant Hospital, Michigan Sugar, General Motors, and Dow. In keeping with the Teen Science Café Core Principles, each professional had an interactive component, such as a mini hack-a-thon and hands-on engineering design challenges.

Teen Science Cafés in the Region

During 2018, four Chief Science Officer teams hosted Teen Science Cafés at their schools, with 20 – 25 students participating in each Café. Student leaders oversaw the planning of logistics and contacted the industry professionals for their events. Fourteen different STEM professionals from a variety of careers including Chemistry, Agriculture, Biology, Engineering, and Medical fields, took part in the Teen Science Cafés. Participating companies included: Hemlock Semi-Conductor, Dow Chemical, Dow Corning, FIRST Robotics, Michigan Sugar, Covenant Hospital, and the Michigan Department of Transportation. In keeping with the Teen Science Café Core Principles, each Café event had an interactive component, such as trying out a steering column mechanism or investigating how a distillation column works.

Contact Us

Jake Lounsbury

Gilbertson Hall – North Wing 142

(989) 964-4058

STEM poster with cardinal head

Follow Us

Facebook Logo RoundInstagram Logo Round