1. Step by step guide for teachers
Step 1: Contact the organisers
- The Project Organiser's main role is to recruit
teachers, schools and other agencies and to help support and sustain
cafes in schools. She will help you set up
and run the first cafe and support you and the student team in
developing a full cafe programme. The Assistant Organiser is
available to help with resources, materials, communication and
- Step 2: Talk to colleagues
- The issues students are likely to want to talk
about will be varied so Cafe Scientifique will be interesting to
teachers of many subjects – science, citizenship, media studies,
environmental science, politics and others. A wide range of involved
colleagues will ensure a wide range of involved students.
- Step 3: Support student volunteers to form an organising group
- The student organising group should have students
from across the age range of your school (to ensure continuity) and
across the range of subject interests. There’ll be a number of roles to
fill – chair, publicity, speaker liaison, café organisation;
opportunities for students with different skills. The incentives
for students include opportunities for personal development and CV
enhancement, the chance to gain an insight into current research and
live science issues and the opportunity to take part in debate and voice
their opinions with working scientists. It might be useful for you to
read through the student organisers’ pages
to see how the project is presented to students.
- Step 4: Identify a topic and title
- The topic for the first café will set the tone for
the rest. The project organiser will offer you a choice of two or three
‘taster’ topics and either speak at the first café herself or arrange
for a speaker she knows will be sympathetic to the values of Cafe
- After that, it will be up to the students to set up
a programme and the project organiser will support them with
suggestions for interesting, relevant and topical discussions and
catchy, quirky, attractive titles for the talks.
- Step 5: Identify a location
- Exactly where depends on the circumstances of your
school but we’d encourage you, if at all possible not to hold the
café in a classroom. The location should be somewhere informal, where
students can relax, eat (if the café is held at lunchtime) and join in
the discussions. Potential locations could be a library or common room
but you may have to devise your own informality. There’s no need for any
technical equipment – with only ten minutes or so to introduce the
topic, speakers won’t need projectors or sound systems.
- Step 6: Advertise the café
- Exactly what format the advertising takes –
assemblies, newsletters, notice boards – will depend on your school.
Should you want them, the organisers will supply you with professionally
designed posters and flyers for overprinting – an opportunity for
students with design skills!
- Step 7: Support the first café
- The project organiser will run the first café, to
get things off to a smooth start. It will be helpful if you have a few
questions ready, just in case discussions are a bit slow to get going.
Also, if you can identify a few students you know to be willing to
respond to direct questions, that will help the speaker get talk going
if the start proves sticky.
- Step 8: Support the student organisers
- Your continuing role will be to support, encourage
and sustain the student organisers, help them develop a balanced and
interesting programme and maintain continuity as older students leave.
The organisers will support you and your students through second and
subsequent cafes but will be happy to see their role diminish as your
café becomes established. The Cafe Scientifique website will be there as
a resource, supply of new ideas and medium for communication with cafes
in other schools.