I have always struggled to get a large turnout at my high school for teen tech week.  Any suggestions on how to draw them in?  Any ideas that have worked for other high school libraries?  Thanks!

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We are a Technology HS so I look for "low-tech" activities for our students.  I do something different each day of the week, but keep all the supplies out if they want to dip into prior day's activities - depending on what supplies I have left.  Make Make Monday - Banana piano (Google it) with Makey Make kits, also Lego, K'Nex.  Last year they did our mascot, the Hawk, in Lego, which took all week (good project).  Zen Master Tuesday - Zentangle, origami, sudoku, adult coloring.  6-Word Wednesday - writing autobiography, life story using 6 words BUT using manual typewriters (a HUGE hit!), fountain pens.  See the low-tech thread here?  Thursday we did Wii Tournament, Mario Cart Tourney but this could accommodate limited # of students.  Playday Friday was board games.  This year we will add Paper engineering to the mix (kids make pop-ups using templates., instructions on www.popupbooks.com), Spirographs, potholders (old fashioned metal frames with loops), Moleskin Smart Writing Sets and a GIANT JENGA Game which our Construction Academy is making (available on Amazon, but we're making our own).  Kids come in  at lunch so they only have 20 mins. so we do things where they can just sit down at the big long table and "mess-around."  Also did black out poetry during 6-word Wednesday.  Tear out pages from out dictionaries, encyclopedias and kids use sharpies to make poetry or life story.  They liked this.  One of the best things was a table full of "Vintage technology" - manual typewriters, dynamo label makers, Discman, dial telephone, different sizes of floppy discs.  Start hitting yard sales and thrift stores.  People love to clean out their old "stuff."  Mr. Potato head was a hit too, as well as old-school games like Candyland, Jenga, Shoots & Ladders, Go to the Head of the Class.  I think it's a scream that these HS students want to "play" with all the vintage (to us) games, crafts.

Did you have instructions for the Lego hawk?  That's my school's mascot, too, and I love this idea!


Sorry, Cathy, no directions.  And unfortunately I have no photo.  The Hawk was about 10" high and started to be all red (We're Red Hawks) but then we ran out of red legos.  We're going to give it another shot this year.  The students basically found an image of a plush red hawk, and went by that.  Hope this helps...

Great programs, even in the Bay area "the kids" like to check out the old tech. I asked some Bay Area Teen Librarians what they were doing for teen tech week and one of the librarian's said her teens specifically asked for a vintage tech program.

I'm just starting out both as a new school librarian and in a high school. Have never done a Teen Tech Week, but would LOVE to. Would love any ideas!

Emily - See my ideas from 2017 post.  For our TTW we make it a point to be LOW/NO tech, with lots of hands-on stuff.  We actually are a tech HS so our students like a break from their Chromebooks and other techs.  As a new librarian, I would put out an email to your staff to see if you can borrow any board games, legos, blocks, puzzles that their families might have.  From now on, start scouring yard sales and thrift stores for some of these things. You don't have to spend a lot of $$ to do some fun activities.  Just put the stuff out there, give it a corny theme and the kids will come.  OR, ask them to come up with ideas.  Also, many of them have special talents and they like to share.  We have students lead activities during lunch; such as Manga drawing, fancy lettering, learn graffiti lettering, learn to knit/crochet, how to tie a tie (or a bowtie), how to sew on a button, henna painting on hands, hack a tee-shirt (cut and rip and tie to make it fashionable).

For us, this year, our 3rd annual TTW we doing the following:

Monday, March 5 - MAKE IT MONDAY
Legos, building toys,  "hack your closet" (embroidery thread available to decorate backpacks, jackets, jeans), "not your granny's potholders," rubber stamping cards
Tuesday, March 6 - TENZI TUESDAY (a.k.a. "things with spots")
Tenzi games, brainy vintage games &  puzzles, DIY Insta-mandalas (a bunch of misc. round shapes (hardware, buttons, etc.) that students can make into a mandala and take a picture with phone)
Wednesday, March 7 - 6-WORD WEDNESDAY
Black-out poetry, calligraphy, old-school fountain pens & technology, rubber stamp collages with old AAA maps
Thursday, March 8 - ZEN DEN THURSDAY
Origami, Zentangle drawing, Buddha boards, rock painting 
In the past we have had Wellness Wednesday (during TTW) with "stress less" stuff:  We also have a jigsaw puzzle out ALL the time (a huge hit!), pieces of bubble wrap to pop and coloring pages and pipe cleaners.  
Just have fun!  Let the students plan things too!

This is great, and I'm SO excited that I was on the right track when I brought in jigsaw puzzles back in September!  

Love all these ideas.  And I already have brought in lots of board games and can borrow my sons legos.  

Thank you for all these great ideas!  Now to implement!


Encourage teens to take advantage of all the great digital tools offered through the library to become content creators! #TTW18


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