March 13, 2014
Shane KitzmanStaff Writer
Maia Seidel gets one-on-one instruction from Covert Double Agent Norm Walker on Tuesday night at the Minneapolis Central Library, all part of Teen Tech Week. (Photo by Tiffany Calderon)
3D printing. Digital recording. Robotics.
How else could a lineup like that be characterized other than “super cool”?
“There’s tons of fun things to do. It’s super cool,” said teenager Maia Seidel while at the Minneapolis Central Library on Tuesday night. “I like the recording studio because I love to sing.”
That’s exactly the reaction that Best Buy and Geek Squad are hoping for as they participate in the March 9-15 Teen Tech Week, a movement for digital literacy and technology spearheaded by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA).
Max Wyatt is one of a hundred-plus kids who are taking part in Teen Tech Week. (Photo by Tiffany Calderon)
This week’s event pairs Geek Squad Agents with Best Buy Blue Shirts to introduce about 150 teens to everything from making a 3D replica of their homes to digitally mixing and creating their very own songs. Seven cities — Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Minneapolis, San Antonio and Seattle – are part of the “do-it-yourself” local library-based series.
“Teen Tech Week aligns well with Best Buy’s philanthropic focus, which is to provide teens with access to the opportunities technology can provide. Our goal is to help them develop 21st-century skills to not only prepare for the future, but to excel in it,” said Best Buy Senior Director of Community Relations/Diversity and Inclusion Susan Bass Roberts.
Atlanta, Denver and Seattle will get melodic as teens discover music software available online for free to build any tune they choose. Using SketchUp – new to the Geek Squad Academy curriculum – teens in Chicago, Minneapolis and San Antonio are whipping up basic 3D shapes. And in Boston, participants learn robot programming basics, capped off with steering robots through a maze.
Covert Double Agent Norm Walker shows off just how sweet 3D printing is. (Photo by Tiffany Calderon)
This partnership helps YALSA help close the digital and knowledge divide for teens with resources like grants to libraries for digital programs and services, and a webinar series that builds the knowledge and skills of librarians and library workers. For more information about YALSA or to access national guidelines and other resources, click here.