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T.E.C.H. Lab - Teen Education Creation Hub

 Teen Education Creation HubThe Teen Education Creation Hub (TECH) Lab is located on the Library's second floor in the Integra Learning Lab and is a space where teens can hang out, explore, design, and create fun projects in science, technology, engineering, art and math.

The TECH Lab is equipped with a wide assortment of technology, equipment and software, including PCs, Macs, iPads, cameras, a green screen, a sound booth, drawing tablets, games, art supplies, and more!. Teens from 13-18 years of age are invited to come and check out this exciting, new teen-only space!

Like us on Facebook!    http://www.facebook.com/BillingsTECHLab.  

Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday from 3 pm - 7 pm 
Friday from 2 pm - 6 pm 
Saturdays from 11 am - 3 pm 


Weekly Focus Days: Wednesday through Saturday the lab has college mentors (whose bios are listed below) who come in to assist teens in exploring the technology and supplies of the lab while interacting with lab visitors through a mentor relationship. Each focus day highlights the talent of the mentor who comes in that day of the week. Though teens are not required to participate in the focus of the day, the schedule allows those visiting the lab the opportunity to come on a day that their particular interest (be it music, crafts, coding, exercise, or otherwise) will be featured. 

Wednesdays: Dream --> Make --> Inspire with Tessa from 3 - 6pm
Thursdays: Get Up and Moving with Jessica from 3 - 7pm
Fridays: <day>Code</day> with Austin from 3 - 6pm
Saturdays: Expression through Art and Music with Marty and Chloe from 11am - 3pm

Board at the Library, Every Friday 3-6 pm :  
Every Friday afternoon is Game Day in the TECH Lab!  Stop by to play a fun, quick board game, or stay the whole time and  dig in to a long strategy game.  Come in and learn how to play classic card games like cribbage or test your tactics with a game of chess.  Bring your friends and play all afternoon!  Don’t want to play a game? Just come in and explore the TECH Lab. There’s lots to do and even more to learn.   

Tutoring Logo.jpgDrop-In Tutoring, Thursdays 5pm - 7pm:
Students from Rocky Mountain College's Mathematical   Society come to the library to offer tutoring to those who would like help with their studies. Althoughtheir focus is primarily math, the tutors can also assist with other disciplines such as biology, physics, chemistry, computer science, and more! Each week they meet in the TECH Lab, so bring any homework or study materials that you would like help with and get started! Donations are welcome. 

E-Line Media Logo Introductory Video Game Design Workshop
 Thursday, February 5, 4pm - 6:30pm : Professional video game designers from E-Line Media, the  makers of Minecraft, will be coming to Billings to teach the concepts and skills needed to work in the  world of video game design. The library will provide laptops, although you can bring your own if you  would prefer. All participants will be given a premium membership to Gamestar Mechanic at the conclusion of the workshop so they can continue working on their game design. This workshop may fill up quickly so register soon to reserve your place! 
Register by calling 657-8258 or stop by the 2nd Floor Reference Desk. Workshops are always free, but registration is required.

Decorated Photo FramePhoto Frame Decoration Workshop
Thursday, February 12, 4:30pm - 6:00pm :
Join us and make a personalized photo frame! It's the perfect chance to create a great gift for Valentine's day or a birthday, or simply something nice for your own use!  Register by calling 657-8258 or stop by the 2nd Floor Reference Desk. Workshops are always free, but registration is required.

Teen Advisory Group
Teens who are 13 to 19 years of age can apply to be part of our Teen Advisory Group - The TAG.  The TAG advises the library about programs for teens, helps promote services and volunteers at the library. Apply today. First TAG meeting will be held on December 18.

Meet the Mentors!

Five college students have partnered with the lab to lead focus days, provide support, and make the lab even better! Introducing: 

­Photo of Austin Howard

Austin Howard:
Austin is a lifelong computer nerd, and an avid reader of books. He is currently in his second year at MSU-B City College as a computer programming student. He started programming in Python when he was nine years old. Since then Austin has learned an additional six computer languages, written small-scale arcade games, built several websites, and spent four years in competitive robotics. He says, “I'm now excited to be passing on my knowledge, and learning some things myself, at the Billings Public Library TECH Lab."
Austin leads the Focus Day: <day>Code</day> on Fridays during lab hours.

Photo of Tessa Kilsdonk
Tessa Kilsdonk:
Tessa grew up in Baker, Montana and is now studying History Education at Montana State University-Billings. She is planning on being a teacher. Tessa loves stories, which is one of the reasons the library is one of her favorite places. Of the TECH Lab Tessa says, “I absolutely love learning by doing things, which makes the T.E.C.H. Lab my favorite room in the Billings Public Library. There is so much to do here, my favorites include Photoshop, crocheting and using the green screen!”
Tessa leads the Focus Day: Dream --> Make --> Inspire on Wednesdays during lab hours.

Photo of Michael Marty
Michael Marty: 
Michael, a.k.a. Marty, was born in Ohio and spent most of his life there before living in a variety of places including Tennessee, West Virginia, Virginia, and Wyoming. Now Marty is attending MSU-B City College where he is studying welding. He has been playing the guitar since he was eight and also plays the mandolin, banjo, recorder, and mountain dulcimer. Growing up Marty won the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) National Eagle award and did a lot of community service with BSA, Habitat for Humanity and other groups. Marty says he wanted to be a mentor to "show that it's possible to have fun without technology. I hope to prove that you don't need a computer screen to have fun, only your imagination and creativity." 
Marty leads the Focus Day: Expression through Art and Music on Saturdays during lab hours.

Photo of Chloe Russell 
Chloe Russell:

Chloe is majoring in Equestrian Studies with a focus in Therapeutic Riding and Psychology at Rocky Mountain College. She moved to Billings from Austin, Texas where she lived for ten years. Chloe loves exploring the city, going to the farmer's markets, taking photos, and reading. She also enjoys studying micro invertebrates, a.k.a. water bugs. "I joined the mentoring program to help kids like me," Chloe said, referring to how she grew up without much money and struggled with mental health issues in high school. During that time, Chloe received help from a local non-profit organization and went on to become a mentor and student representative on their board of directors. She wants to provide the same support she was given, so that other teens can see that they can always change their situation, even in small ways.
Chloe leads the Focus Day: Expression through Art and Music on Saturdays during lab hours.

Photo of Jessica Watson
Jessica Watson: 
Jessica was born and raised in Central California. She is currently studying nursing at MSU-Billings and working towards her Bachelors of Nursing Science. Jessica says she wanted to be involved with the TECH Lab "because I live to help others and wanted to get involved in the community of Billings." She was a cheerleader for many years and hopes to offer some dance fitness classes for teens in the TECH Lab. She thinks it would be a great way to introduce fitness and build confidence while learning how to move! Jessica's goal is to help teens in the lab by being encouraging to allow them to build confidence by expressing themselves. 
Jessica leads the Focus Day: Get Up and Moving! on Thursdays during lab hours.

Special Thanks

WYO-Ben Logo

Wyo-Ben, a Bentonite clay manufacturing company in Billings, recently made a very generous donation to the Teen Technology, Education, and Creation Hub. The T.E.C.H. Lab is able to thrive only because of donations such as these. Thank you Wyo-Ben!

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a suggestion for a workshop or new technology?  Let us know. 

Submit an application to be an instructor in the TECH Lab.

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