Event & Activity Ideas

Looking for activity ideas for your Teen Tech Week celebration?  Check out:

50 Ideas for Celebrating Teen Tech Week

Low-Cost and Free Program Ideas

  • Have a library scavenger hunt using technology. For example, use QR codes, have participants take selfies at different locations, or use the app ActionBound.
  • Work with a guidance or career counselor to host a program for parents and teens about applying online for college and financial aid.
  • Organize a Hack-a-thon.
  • Have a teen-created book trailer contest.
  • Host a Tech Take Apart using donations of broken or unwanted technology.
  • Create paper circuits. You can buy affordable copper tape at Sparkfun Electronics.
  • Create a puzzle, scavenger hunt, or trivia challenge in which teens must use your library’s digital resources to find answers.
  • Have teens take photos around the community and submit them to the library for a community photo album/memory book.
  • Have teens work together to create their own e-book, zine or newspaper
  • Host tech-related trivia competitions using the free Kahoot website and app.
  • Talk about books related to the Teen Tech Week theme in a book discussion group.
  • Host a panel discussion with local teens about cyberbullying and ethical behavior online.

General Program Ideas

  • Do crafts related to technology, such as a USB flash drive bracelet, a pocket green screen, or a bristlebot.
  • Host a gaming tournament. You can create brackets for free here.  (If you have a smaller group, double elimination brackets work well because each player gets to play at least twice.)
  • Have a soldering workshop. One inexpensive and useful soldering kit can be found here.
  • Connect with your local hardware store to host a DIY program
  • Find a community member with a successful YouTube channel to talk to teens about how to start and maintain a channel and attract followers.  (Try asking around or posting a call on social media to find a presenter.)
  • Host an app-making workshop using a tool such as MIT App Inventor, Thunkable, or App Lab.
  • Make sewable circuits. Try making LED light-up accessories or gloves with conductive thread.
  • Host a retro gaming program. Ask a local used game store if they are willing to offer you discounts or make donations, and ask coworkers if they have vintage consoles and games they’d be willing to lend to the library.
  • Make a podcast with teens, like the Queens Library does with their QL Teen Radio Podcast.
  • Host a stop-motion animation workshop.
  • Invite a local game developer to talk about working in the video game industry.  You can find game development organizations near you here.
  • Host a books-to-movies festival.
  • Host virtual reality activities using the affordable Google Cardboard viewers.

Advocacy and Volunteerism

  • Host a program where teens teach seniors computer skills, such as this one at San Francisco Public Library.
  • Have teen volunteers run an electronics recycling drive with the help of an e-cycling program.
  • Have teens create brief how-to videos that demonstrate proper use of different library digital resources.
  • Ask teen volunteers to teach staff about technologies they use, or to learn about a new technology the library has recently purchased and instruct staff in its use.
  • Have teens create a public service announcement for a local TV station.
  • Let teens temporarily “take over” library social media accounts.
  • Have teens create commercials for library events and services, and share them on YouTube.
  • Host tech-related programs for kids and have teen volunteers instruct or assist the students.

Demos and Fairs

  • Have a technology fair or tech petting zoo to introduce teens to the library’s technology.
  • Host a fair where teens are invited to demonstrate their favorite technology or a technological skill.
  • Invite local businesses and tech organizations to come demonstrate their technologies at a fair at the library.
  • Organize a Tech Career Fair for teens by tapping local businesses, schools and individual experts.

Collaboration

  • Have public library staff and school library staff team up to pool their talents, reach a wider audience, and provide tech programs at the school or at the library.
  • Team up with local branches of organizations such as FIRST STEM Programs and Girls Who Code to offer programming and spread awareness about tech opportunities in your community.
  • Work with local tech experts and makerspaces to host workshops on topics such as robotics, electronics, coding, and making.
  • Host an open house for teachers to raise awareness among them about the digital resources the library has available to them and their students.
  • Share a list of the library’s digital resources with area youth-serving organizations and encourage them to use them.

Displays and Passive Programming

  • Have tech-related Make & Take kits available (bags with instructions and supplies for crafts and activities that teens can do on their own time).
  • Distribute a survey to teens soliciting their opinions on how the library can meet teens’ technology needs and interests.  Have a prize drawing as incentive to participate.
  • Collect and post teen reviews of tech products.
  • Leave a cart full of maker supplies in a seating area for the week so teens can tinker on their own time.
  • Provide printouts of famous memes with blank spaces for the words, and host a meme caption contest. Post the memes in the library.
  • Have a Teen Tech Week Bingo sheet with a tech-related activity in each box.  Teens who complete enough boxes to get a bingo earn a prize.

Other

  • Suspend fines or fees for checking out DVDs, audiobooks, games, and other technology.
  • Start a new social media account, such as a Snapchat, Tumblr, or Instagram, to share resources and library news with teens.

50 More Ideas for Celebrating Teen Tech Week

  1. Extended library hours
  2. Open House to show off  any new digital resources the library offers with refreshments and hands-on demos
  3. Set up a Suggestion Box in the teen area—then post suggestions with responses
  4. Establish a Teen Advisory Group
  5. Design and set up a Facebook page, blog or Twitter account to reach teens
  6. Collect and post teen reviews of e-books or tech products [offer some instruction in review writing]
  7. Fines Amnesty Week to coincide with TTW
  8. Teen lock-in with a gaming tournament or film fest, followed by breakfast
  9. Books to Movies festival
  10. Anime/Manga Character contest or cosplay party
  11. Tech gadget giveaways
  12. Library Scavenger Hunt (in the building or online)
  13. Crafts related tech—make a smart phone cover, design a tablet holder, etc.
  14. Free rentals of DVDs, audiobooks, games, etc. during TTW
  15. Teen-produced Public Service Announcements
  16. Family Activity—teens help seniors build computer skills
  17. Trivia contests
  18. Work with your TAG to create a photo display or film
  19. Bulletin board filled with tech themed book suggestions from teens
  20. Teen Tech How-To Column in local newspaper; teen reviews
  21. Media Swap
  22. TTW badges—different ones for number of books read, tasks completed, etc.
  23. Contest to select teens for a TV or PSA [local station]
  24. Radio talk show interview—teens and their digital lives
  25. Design a bookmark or library card for teens contest
  26. Teens create and post book trailers online
  27. DIY Teen Space Face-lift
  28. Teens create their own e-book, zine or newspaper
  29. Host a mini Comi-Con
  30. Book discussion group – feature books based on the TTW theme
  31. Wish list—teens submit the names digital resources they wish the library provided
  32. Take teens to your state capitol to demonstrate a particular digital tool or project they’ve been working on
  33. Recruit a local expert to host an app making workshop
  34. Organize a Tech Career Fair for teens by tapping local businesses, schools and individual experts
  35. Host a Maker Faire
  36. Connect with your local hardware store to host a DIY program
  37. Work with a Guidance or Career Councilor to host a program for parents and teens about applying online for college and financial aid
  38. Organize a Tech Petting Zoo by utilizing library resources and contacting a local electronics store for staff volunteers and borrowing digital products
  39. Recruit a career coach or employment expert to talk about best practices in maintaining your online image
  40. Teach an identity theft prevention workshop
  41. Host a panel discussion with local teens and others about cyberbullying and ethical behavior online
  42. Organize a Hack-a-thon (use hackasaurus.org resources)
  43. Create help sheets to assist teen patrons with using the library’s databases and other e-resources
  44. Bring teens to a school board or town council meeting to talk about how the library helps them build digital literacy skills
  45. Host an open house for teachers to raise awareness among them about the digital resources the library has available to them and their students
  46. Share a list of digital resources the library offers with area youth-serving organizations and encourage them to use them
  47. Organize a tech recycling effort in the community to ensure items get properly disposed of
  48. Have teens create brief how-to videos that demonstrate proper use of different library digital resources
  49. Launch a Teen Techxpert effort where teen volunteers are recruited and trained to help tech support at the library
  50. Identify a local expert who can host a robotics workshop

Comment by Amy McDonald on January 21, 2016 at 4:41pm
Does anyone have any experience teaching coding for TTW? If so what, if any online tools did you use? We are thinking codeacademy.com

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