NIUâs STEM CafĂ© for June promises a lively debate on the good, the bad, and the ugly of social networking.
âThis is Your Brain on Social Networkingâ will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, June 28, at Taxco Restaurant in Sycamore. Biologist Melissa Scotti and educational technologist Kristen Brynteson will discuss whatâs new on social media and the brain.
Sponsored by NIU STEM Outreach, which delivers off-campus programs and on-campus activities designed to increase science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) literacy, this monthly event is free and open to the public.
STEM Cafes originated in Europe, where they are called CafĂ© Scientifique.Â These events are designed as fun, casual gatherings where adults can eat, drink and chat with STEM professionals about current topics in science.
Food and drinks are available for purchase at host restaurants.
Similar CafĂ© Scientifique events have attracted large audiences across the country and world, said Judith Dymond of NIU Outreach, who is coordinating the NIU STEM CafĂ©s.
âThe events are fun,â Dymond said, âbut they have a purpose, too, in helping to demystify science and technology and raise scientific literacy.â
Scotti and Brynteson will deliver a 30-minute talk followed by an hour-long question-and-answer session.
Scotti received her Ph.D. in biology at Indiana University, Bloomington, with a focus on physiology and behavior.Â She is conducting grant-related research at NIU.
Scotti says she will address âwhether Facebook depression is real, whether social networking is a useful tool for introverted teens, and whether social networking affects the psychological state.â
âWhen you mention Facebook or Twitter, most people have an immediate reaction.Â They love it, they hate it or they just donât get it,â Brynteson said. âI want to help people understand what social media and networking are and how they change us, especially the way we connect and interact with one another.â
âOur STEM Outreach has been highly successful with students across the region. Through STEM Cafes we are engaging adults in friendly conversations with NIU STEM scientists on the latest scientific issues,â said Patricia Sievert, NIU STEM Outreach director. âThe first STEM CafĂ© in May on pseudo-science attracted more than 50 adults, who enjoyed the discussion and Taxcoâs cuisine.â
NIUâs STEM CafĂ© for July â âThe Trouble with Asian Carp,â with expert Vic Santucci from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources â is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 18, at Tapa La Luna restaurant in DeKalb.
For more information, call (815) 753-4751 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.