Open Science Café

Make your own event with a $3,000 budget!

Photo of Open Science Cafe

Inaugural Open Science Cafe, hosted by art and design student Ali Albiani and featuring graphics director of The New York Times, Steve Duenes (2014).

To celebrate five years of bringing the campus and community together for interactive events and causal conversations at Cal Poly Science Café, the Robert E. Kennedy Library launched a new initiative, Open Science Cafe.

Open Science Cafe is designed to inspire and empower students to make their own Cal Poly Science Café event with the researcher, thought leader or creative mover and shaker of their choice. This is an opportunity to gain project management experience from start (concept and development) to finish (implementation and assessment) with a mentor. The event can relate to any discipline; it doesn’t have to be about science.

In addition to the $3,000 event budget, students receive $500 for their leadership.

Want to know more? Read our blog about Open Science Cafe.

2014: Inaugural Open Science Cafe!

Ali Albiani (Art+Design, 14) brought Steve Duenes, the graphics director for The New York Times, to Cal Poly for an interactive event May 9, 2014, at our first Open Science Cafe. Read more about Ali’s experience planning and leading the event on our blog. Ali interviewed and produced a video featuring Steve Duenes, too. You can also browse photos on our Flickr.

Check back later for info on how to apply to lead your own Open Science Cafe in 2015!

Criteria
A winning grant proposal is selected based on 1) creativity and thoughtfulness and 2) feasibility and planning. We welcome applications from students at every college and in every discipline. Experiential, interactive event designs are encouraged.

After reviewing applications, we will meet with selected students to discuss their ideas.

Rules

  • Applications will be accepted from individual students only.
  • You must be a Cal Poly student during spring quarter 2015.
  • We reserve the right not to select a recipient.

FAQ about Open Science Café

What is Cal Poly Science Café?
It’s a fun series that brings the campus and community together for interactive events and causal conversations. They last about an hour and can cover any topic, not just those relating to science. Ideally, they are hands-on. See what we’ve done on our Vimeo channel and join us on Facebook.

Where and when does Cal Poly Science Café happen?
It is usually held in the Robert E. Kennedy Library, on the second floor, near Julian’s. We’ve found the best time to hold the events is on a Thursday, 11:00AM-12:30PM, but there is some flexibility.

How does Open Science Cafe work?
You will be empowered by a budget of up to $3,000 to bring your vision to life as an organizer and host of your own Cal Poly Science Café. The budget is designed to cover event expenses like speaker fees, travel arrangements and food. All expenses are reviewed, approved and processed by the library. Any budget not spent will be returned to library funds. Students will also receive a $500 stipend for their leadership. The stipend will be processed through Financial Aid and be applied to the student’s Cal Poly account.

Do you write me a check?
No. We set aside a budget for you to spend on creating your dream event. We will process the expenses. Your stipend will be processed through Financial Aid and be applied to your Cal Poly account.

Who typically plans Cal Poly Science Café?
Karen Lauritsen, the communications and public programs coordinator, together with a team of staff. She’ll be your mentor.

How do you plan a Cal Poly Science Café?
It takes creativity, flexibility and organization. You can learn more about planning your own science cafe event in this presentation.

How do I apply?
Via our online application. You must be a Cal Poly student during spring quarter 2015, when your event will be held.

How will the winning award be selected?
The award will be selected based on 1) creativity and thoughtfulness and 2) feasibility and planning. We welcome applications from students at every college and in every discipline. Experiential, interactive event designs are encouraged.

After reviewing applications, we will meet with selected students to discuss their ideas to inform our final selection.

We reserve the right not to select an award recipient.

What do I get out of this?
In addition to the budget, infrastructure and support to make your vision a reality, the hands-on experience of making a program happen from start to finish will be valuable in your professional life. There will be lots of documentation of your collaboration that will look great on your resume. Of course, there is also the $500 stipend.

It seems like a lot of work.
Yes! Luckily, you’ll have a lot of support. You’ll also have the opportunity to show your real-world experience to future employers by documenting your process.

Can I work with friends?
Applications will be accepted from individual students only.

Who do I contact with more questions?
Karen Lauritsen.

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