Science Café at Discovery generally takes place in the Town Center of the Discovery Building. Attendees can settle in and order a cup of coffee, snack or even dinner from Steenbock’s on Orchard during the conversation. Guests aged 21 years and up also can enjoy a glass of wine or beer. The science café is free and open to the public, with the exception of food or beverage purchases.

What is a Science Café?

Science cafés are live grassroots events held in casual settings like coffeehouses and pubs that are open to everyone, organized locally and feature an engaging conversation with a scientist on a particular topic. Science cafés have been held in communities across the globe for years.

To learn more, visit

Who Should Attend?

Everyone! Science cafés are free and open to the public. No prior scientific knowledge is needed, so anybody can participate.

What Would I Do at a Science Café?

Science cafés start with a presentation by a scientist or group of scientists about the evening’s topic. Then the conversation about the topic begins. A science café is not a formal lecture—audience members are encouraged to ask questions and participate in the discussion. 

At the café, you might order a snack, listen to various perspectives on the topic and share your thoughts with others in the audience.

What Could I Learn About?

Past topics include:

  • De-extinction: Back to the future?
  • Building an inventor
  • Who drives the madness?
  • Who sciences harder?
  • Sugar, sugar, everywhere, even in your genes
  • Hope, fear and climate science
  • A world without antibiotics
  • The future of fuel
  • What a winter…summer…can we expect more years like 2012?
5:00 pm
October 15
Steenbock’s on Orchard

Science Cafe: Digital Disruption

Digital Disruption: Is digital media changing how children play and learn? is free and open to the public. Registration is requested.

This science café will examine how children’s learning can be enabled and enriched through playful and intelligent engagement with digital technologies and learning platforms.


Michael Dezuanni, Digital Media Research Lab, Queensland University of Technology

Learning to Play Minecraft on YouTube with StacyPlays

This presentation discusses Minecraft ‘Let’s Play’ videos to explore how children learn from social media entertainers. I will discuss the work of Stacy Hinojosa, who makes ‘family friendly’ Minecraft videos featuring her pet dogs. Minecraft is currently the world’s most popular digital game, allowing more children than ever before to play and build on a digital platform. I will show how Hinojosa’s Dogcraft series invites fans to form authentic relationships with her, creating the potential for peer learning.

Jennifer Rowsell, Faculty of Education, Brock University

‘Actually, Outside of School, I Am a Professional Coder:' Disrupting and Reframing Engagement in the English Classroom

In this brief presentation, I will feature one project within a larger federally funded research study on incorporating media and creative arts professionals into literacy teaching and learning across elementary and secondary contexts in the Niagara area of Canada. Spotlighting one young man and his hidden literacies, I disrupt restrictive definitions of ‘engagement’ that circulate in public discourse and policy and contrast them with multimodal expertise and lived experiences of professionals.

Suzanna So-Har Wong and Linda Laidlaw, Faculty of Education, University of Alberta

Young Children Playing Across Digital and Physical Worlds

Much of our current discourse around contemporary young children's play focused on digital play and play with digital devices. Based on my longitudinal study of young children's digital literacy practices and play at home and in out-of-school settings, I share examples of children's play that moves across the virtual and 'actual' worlds seamlessly.

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Science Café at Discovery is supported by the Morgridge Institute for Research, UW–Madison and WARF.

Did you miss one of our science cafés?

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