Youth Leaders


What is the Teen Leadership Team?

The Teen Science Café is a program for high school teens interested in hot topics related to science. Teens take ownership of the program through the Teen Leadership Teams. Each town has a Teen Leadership Team — open to any high school teen — that helps to select Café topics, advertises and draws other teens to the Cafés, introduce guest presenters, and lead planning meetings, while the program staff members stay in the background and provide support as needed. TLT members participate in the committees described below.If you are a high school teen and are interested in participating in the Youth Leadership Team for your town, all you have to do is go to a Café meeting and give your name to the adult staff member. Other YLT members will show you the ropes!Questions? Look further down this page for some answers.

Why Be a Leader?

  • Ensure the program works for you and is fun!Develop new skills
  • Make new friends in other towns
  • Lots of adult support will handle background work
  • Receive mentoring and training
  • Help design a first of its kind program for teens

Expectations of Leaders

  • Opportunity to chair or co-chair a committee
  • Work with adult leaders to plan and carry out tasks
  • Communicate regularly by email or phone
  • Attend training session with youth leaders from all four towns
  • Raise awareness of Café meetings and the program in general in your school and town
  • Recruit friends to help with the responsibilities

Youth 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 Youth Leadership Teams divide up the responsibilities of guiding the Café program so that many more teens can get involved in leading and participating in the program. There is a role for everyone.

Recruitment and Outreach FAQ

Is it OK to take some initiative or am I just supposed to do what I’m told?

We absolutely encourage YLT 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 put up your ideas on the social network site, 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. In general, we just want you to be out there doing stuff, and to the extent your time permits. We understand you are all busy.

I am volunteering for the YLT, 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 YLT?

Youth leaders meet for an hour once or twice a month in the beginning of the season, then only 30 minutes or so once we get the routine down. The shorter meetings could be held right after a Café presentation or on another day, what ever works for the team. 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.

Sign me up!