Vermont may not be the first state that comes to mind when you think about science careers. However, thanks to UVM Extension’s VTeen 4-H Science Pathways Café program, young people are beginning to learn otherwise.

The cafés are a free, fun way for teens to explore science, engineering and technology with local experts in the field. “Science is more than just a lab coat,” says UVM Extension 4-H Teen and Leadership Specialist Lauren Traister, and this model is one way 4-H is changing the image and making science more accessible to youth.

Each two-hour café brings in a local STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) professional to guide teens in discussion and hands-on activities. From astrobiology to the science of stress, the cafés offer informal introductions to new topics and careers right here in Vermont.

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This article originally appeared in the December 2018 Extension Quarterly (PDF).


Lauren A. Traister
Infographic showing that 6 cafes and 3 labs reached 205 teens, and many attended multiple events