Teen Leadership Team   Apply Now!

Teen Science Café is a program for high school teens interested in hot topics in the news related to science. It helps teens develop a better understanding of science and offers a way for students to get involved in their community, meet peers and scientists, and develop leadership and communication skills. A strong Teen Leadership Team is important for the success of the program.

What is the Teen Leadership Team?

Teens take ownership of the program through the Teen Leadership Teams. Each town has a Teen Leadership Team that helps to select Café topics and to prepare presenters, advertises and draws other teens to the Cafés, and ultimately runs the meetings. An adult leader provides support and training as needed.

Every Teen Leader can have a big impact on the Café program.

Why be a leader?

  • Take ownership and customize your local Teen Science Café program
  • Develop new skills (e.g. leadership, event planning, public speaking, marketing)
  • Connect with other teens and adults interested in science
  • Ensure the program works for you and is fun!
  • Receive mentoring and training

Roles of Teen Leaders

  • Recruit Teen Leaders to help with the responsibilities
  • Work with adult leaders to plan and carry out tasks to run the Cafés
  • Raise awareness of Café meetings and the program in general in your school and town

Expectations of Leaders

  • Participate actively in all events
  • Take Responsibility for the program’s quality and success
  • Think ahead and come prepared to carry out your responsibilities
  • Meet and greet both the presenter and teen peers
  • Read the presenter’s essay and bio before each meeting and come with one or two questions; this will encourage participation by others
  • Provide feedback on the Café and presenter, recommend improvements
  • Recommend topics you think would be of interest to your peers
  • Communicate regularly by email or phone with other teen and adult leaders


If you are a high school teen and are interested in participating in the Teen Leadership Team for your town, we encourage you to complete an application below. We are looking for new and experienced Teen Leaders that are eager to participate and make our Teen Café exceptional. The leadership team will be limited in number so that each leader receives more personalized training and opportunities to grow.

We will have teen leadership training meetings two times per month through the summer (June-August) to prepare for the fall Café season. You are expected to attend all or make up the training at a date agreed to by the Adult Leader. Teen Leadership meetings will be held in the evenings, typically on the same day of the week that Cafés are held. During the school year, the meetings will be held in the evenings two weeks before the Café event.

Questions? Look further down this page for some answers.

Teen Leadership Activities

There is a Café event each month in each town. During the Café session, a scientist introduces a hot topic in science and leads a spirited and highly interactive program for about an hour. This typically includes an activity that challenges everyone with a problem or puzzle. Refreshments are served before and after the presentation and discussion.

The Teen Leadership Teams divide up the responsibilities of guiding the Café, but Teen Leaders are encouraged to learn how to do each part of the preparation and hosting of a Café.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it OK to take some initiative or am I just supposed to do what I'm told?
We absolutely encourage TLT members to take a lot of initiative. You are going to have good ideas that no one has thought of. You may have ideas about people you think ought to know about the program, go after them. You may have ideas about better ways to advertise. You may have ideas about some interesting topics related to science that no one has thought of, you should promote having Cafés on such topics. You are very much encouraged to express your ideas on our Facebook page, there are no bad ideas here. You should feel free to contact people you know in your school or in other towns about the Café.

I am volunteering for the TLT, but I am a little nervous because I don't have that much experience, how much help can I count on?
You are not going to be out there on your own. You will be working as part of a team and you will be able to help each other. And the adult organizers are going to be there to help you and support you in any way you need it. You need only to ask.

How much extra time will it require to be on the TLT?
Teen leaders meet for an hour each month to plan the upcoming Café. At these meetings, we will iron out details for the next meeting and pick follow up activities. Additionally, some of our discussion can be done by email or on our Facebook sites, whatever works best for the group.

What is this social network all about?
We have a Café Scientifique group on Facebook to better communicate with you and other teens interested in the Café Scientifique program. You can join the group any time. It is a place for all participants in the Café to sign on and learn about and from each other. We will make regular postings of news about the program and about interesting science discoveries we learn about. Sign up and check it out!