Friday, January 16, 2009

Ideas Worth Borrowing, cont.

Here's another great idea that's free for the taking: In my hometown of Portland, Ore., ordinary folks with a passing interest in spider venom, say, or nanotechnology are gathering in our local brewpubs to talk science. Science pub nights, for the 21-and-over crowd, are the focus of this recent Oregonian article. Expert speakers guide the conversation, but the tone is strictly informal. As coordinator Nancy Lapotin explains, "It brings science to the people." Portland Public Schools is also hosting informal science cafes where teens can talk about science with experts. It adds up to a citywide conversation about all things scientific. Francis Eberle, executive director of the National Science Teachers Association, hasn't heard of any other communities where this is happening--yet.
Photo by Nic McPhee, Creative Commons


MariaD said...

We have something like that in Raleigh, NC, except it's open to all ages. It's called "Science Cafe":

Anonymous said...

The non-profit that I work for is looking for pilot sites in Portland where students could benefit from having mobile broadband access to educational learning experiences similar to the science cafe programs you described. For example the science expert could be SKYPED in from another location or students to go out to a remote location and stream their experience back to the science cafe. If you would like to discuss this further please contact me at