Teen Tech Week: DIY @ Your Library

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Since the official Teen Tech Week coincides with my district’s spring break, we held our Teen Tech Week activities the week before.  Many of them were so popular, that I’ll probably keep them going the week after as well.

Design a rocket with K'nex

Design a rocket with K’nex

The K’nex have been an amazing addition to our library.  I’ll see students constantly tinkering with them throughout the day.  For Teen Tech Week,  I decided to add a challenge element to it by encouraging students to design a rocket.  The prize will be a keychain made out of K’nex (saw these at the K’nex education booth at FETC) and a $10 Amazon gift card. I love how whimsical all the entries have been so far.  Most don’t look like what you would think of when you picture a rocket.  They’re amazing.

Perler bead mania!

Perler bead mania!

The surprise hit for Teen Tech Week has definitely been the Perler bead station.  This was so ridiculously easy to set up.  I bought the beads and two sets of grids from IKEA for about $10, and then dumped out the beads in a plastic storage tray I had lying around.  I put a sign up with instructions so kids would know what to do (but I don’t think they needed it).  When students were done with a project, they would come get me and I would iron it for them in the workroom while the watched.  It was so much fun getting to see all of the unique ideas and creations students came up with.

Trying out our new Snap circuits

Trying out our new Snap circuits

The other surprise of the week was our Snap Circuits.  We JUST got these through DonorsChoose, so I wasn’t sure if they would arrive in time for Teen Tech Week.  They were delivered on Wednesday, so we unwrapped them and set them up the next day.  My students were SO excited about these.  A couple immediately started tinkering with them and explaining all the different types of circuits they were building to me.  These are definitely going to be a big hit in our library Makerspace.

I had other activities planned, but they fell by the wayside.  There was a collage art booth, but I don’t think it was advertised enough, because students didn’t seem to know it was there.  There was also going to be a tech take apart station, but scheduling difficulties in the library kept it from happening.  I’m planning to set that one up next week, and eventually make it a permanent part of our Makerspace.

What are your students making during Teen Tech Week?

Diana Rendina, MLIS, is the media specialist at Tampa Preparatory School, an independent 6-12 in Tampa, FL. Previously, she was the media specialist at Stewart Middle Magnet School for seven years, where she founded their library makerspace. She is the creator of the blog RenovatedLearning.com. She was a monthly contributor to AASL Knowledge Quest from 2015-2018. Diana is the winner of the 2016 ISTE Outstanding Young Educator Award, the 2015 ISTE Librarians Network Secondary Award, the 2015 AASL Frances Henne Award & the 2015 SLJ Build Something Bold Award. She is an international speaker on the Maker Movement and has presented at conferences including AASL, FETC & ISTE. Diana co-authored Challenge-Based Learning in the School Library Makerspace with Colleen and Aaron Graves and is also the author Reimagining Library Spaces: Transform Your Space on Any Budget.


  1. […] Teen Tech Week […]

  2. […] many of our most popular activities have been make & takes: our Rainbow Loom band fundraiser,  the Perler Bead station that we first started with Teen Tech Week, our DIY bookmark center, the arts & crafts parties […]

  3. […] one of the earliest elements of my makerspace.  I originally added them as a pop-up station during Teen Tech Week in 2014.  They ended up being such a surprise hit that they became a permanent part of our makerspace. […]

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