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A movement to spread scientific learning in a casual environment that started in Britain in the late 1990s has gotten a foothold in the United States. At science cafés, adults gather at a restaurant, bar or other nonacademic spot to listen to a presentation on a scientific topic while enjoying their favorite beverage.


The subject of science lends itself naturally to lab experiments, field experiences and other “hands-on” activities. If well implemented, such activities can engage students and significantly increase learning. But if science education is to prepare students for life and for possible careers in science, providing hands-on activities is not enough.