Teen Science Café is an event organised by the Science Centre, Pembroke, as part of a suite of initiatives that aim to promote STEM-related careers across all year groups within state and non-state school students.
Multiple sessions of Teen Science Café are organised every year in different schools. The activity involves encounters between successful STEM professionals and Year 8 students (12-year-olds). During these encounters, Year 8 students are organised in small groups in an informal setting and are given the opportunity to ask questions to the experts meeting them. From their end, STEM professionals would share their experience in their specific field, including what generated their interest in science and what (or who) encouraged them to take up that career. They would also provide encouragement by sharing any difficulties they encountered and how they managed to overcome them. These encounters are also motivational as STEM professionals speak about major job satisfactions and particularly rewarding experiences. Professionals would also tie all the above with the importance of studying sciences. Indeed, the Science Centre organises Teen Science Café sessions predominantly between October and January of the scholastic year, the period that precedes the time when Year 8 students are asked to choose which subjects they would like to specialise in at Secondary school (Years 9 to 11). Click the button below to watch this video about Teen Science Café.
The first edition of Teen Science Café was held in 2015. Since then, hundreds of STEM Professionals have kindly offered their time to meet thousands of students. For many of these students Teen Science Café sparked the interest in a STEM-career, while for others who were already inclined to specialise in STEM, Teen Science Café led them to consider career possibilities in STEM areas that are up-and-coming. No wonder, that during the same period, numbers of students taking up the sciences kept growing.
The Covid-19 pandemic did not stop these encounters from taking place, as the Science Centre was quick to adapt Teen Science Café to an online format, where professionals entered the classrooms through an online platform. While the face-to-face interaction was missed, this challenge was turned into an opportunity for professionals to show their labs, offices, clinics and workshops to the students.
Over the years, special editions of Teen Science Café were organised with a special focus on Women in STEM. These ranged from big events that included discussions, workshops and presentations on top of the customary encounters with an all-female complement of professionals, to regular Teen Science Café sessions where both boys and girls were met exclusively by female professionals. Special editions were organised in secondary schools as well as the Giovanni Curmi Higher Secondary. Teen Science Café – Women in STEM also ventured outside schools, with a number of sessions being hosted by industry partners. Teen Science Café also evolved into a version for primary students called Tiny TSC.
Teen Science Café also serves the function of linking study programmes such as those of Integrated Science, Information Technology and Mathematics with real life work-based scenarios thus leveraging the relevance of the respective subjects to everyday life.
Any entities, individual STEM professionals and tertiary level institutions who would like to collaborate with the Science Centre in upcoming editions of Teen Science Café are encouraged to contact one of the EO’s Science via email found on the Our Team page of this website.