Create in the Library: Teen Tech Week 2018

by Lucie Ferguson, Young Adult Librarian

This week, Pratt teen librarians are gearing up with displays, events and digital resources to celebrate Teen Tech Week, March 4-March 10.

Teen Tech Week is an annual initiative from the Young Adult Library Services Association, focused on connecting teens with libraries and technology. Every year during the first week of March, libraries around the country host creative programming for teens to encourage building tech skills and experiences. This could mean using traditional tools, like a sewing machine, trying out new skills like programming, or learning how to be safe on the internet. Why? It’s important for teens to explore technology in a fun and experiential way as they prepare for college and 21st century careers. It’s also a good chance to show teens that the library is about more than books. It’s a place to build, learn and use tech resources that are right there in the community – including librarians.

In past years, teens at Pratt have explored low-tech activities like building circuits with conductive dough and making steampunk art, as well as more complex projects such as digital scavenger hunts and 3D printing. These activities encourage engagement with all the ways that technology is part of our lives: for navigation, for education and for creation. It’s also just a blast: last year, teens at the Reisterstown Road branch found themselves directing laser beams through a maze against the clock!

Six Pratt branches are partnering with Code in the Schools this year to offer basic coding workshops for teens. These workshops will help students learn the building blocks of programming, an important skill in today’s computer heavy world. And there are plenty of other great activities planned: designing binary code necklaces, trying out retro gaming systems and learning to fly drones. Check out our calendar to find a Teen Tech Week program near you and follow along with #ttw18.