Science and technology touch every aspect of our lives. Science Cafés were a way for the general public to hear professional scientists talk about their work in a relaxed, fun, and informative setting. Now, they have morphed into our TechKey Cafes, that focus on the results of the sciences – the technologies they created that we must now learn to use.
For over seven years, (until 2018), the Cafés were primarily aimed at the non-scientist adult and attract a wide-ranging audience from high school students to professional and retired scientists (Students younger than 12 years of age, would be accompanied by an adult). The presentation and audience-driven discussions that followed help to demystify some of the then, current headlines.
Science Cafés were also a valuable resource for parents and teachers – to saty current on various topics, real-world examples of classroom material, and (indirectly) career paths of scientists.
NMTC Science Cafés took place monthly from September through June at public venues in Harford and Cecil Counties, and all events were free.
How Science Cafés Work
Science Cafés were hosted in a public location that offers an informal atmosphere.
Starting at 7:00 pm, the scientist or knowledge expert offered a 20-30 minute presentation of that evening’s topic. Breaking for refreshments, it would continue with a discussion of the subject.
During the discussion, the audience was encouraged to ask questions and share their knowledge of the topic.
Each presentation was supported with helpful visuals displayed on a large screen. The discussion was guided by a facilitator to help the conversation stay focused and on the topic.
U.S. Science Cafés:
The original U.K. Science Café: