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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 

Holiday Hours: The TECH Lab will be open from 11am-3pm on December 24. The lab will be closed on December 25, Christmas Day and will resume normal hours for the following Friday and Saturday. 

December 30 - January 3 the lab will have special winter break hours from 12pm - 4pm, Tuesday - Saturday. Normal hours will resume the following week. 


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.   
Photo of 3D Printer at work3D Printing: Cookie Cutters to Skyscrapers
Wednesday, Thursday (5:30-7pm) and Friday (4:30-6pm), December 17, 18, & 19: 
This 3-part series serves as an exciting  introduction into the world of 3D modeling and 3D printing. Those who attend the workshop  will complete two projects:
-Creating and printing a Christmas Cookie Cutter
-Designing and printing a skyscraper that you think should be in Billings 
 Register for all three days at the 2nd Floor Reference Desk or by calling 657-8258. Workshops  are always free, but registration is required.

Anti-Bullying LogoAnti-Bullying PSA Workshop Tuesday, January 13, 4:00pm : Join this workshop to brainstorm plans for a Public Service Announcement (PSA) about anti-bullying in Montana.There is currently a contest to make the best 30-second video PSA. There are cash prizes for the first three place winners. Attend the workshop to learn more, brainstorm creative ideas and get started! Don't miss your chance to have a voice about this important topic. 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.

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!”

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." 
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.

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. 

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.

Back to the Teen page