TECH Lab

TECH Lab

The Teen Education and 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 ages 13-18 are invited to come and check out this exciting, teen-only space!

TECH Lab Winter Hours:


Tuesday-Thursday: 3-7 pm
Friday: 3-6 pm
Saturday: 1-5 pm

TECH Lab Events At-a-Glance


There's always a lot going on in the lab, so here is a quick list of everything we are currently offering. Scroll down through the page to find more info on what you're interested in, or just stop by the lab and see what you can find!  You can also call Cody in the TECH Lab with any questions at 696-8538.
  • Artist-in-Residence
  • Music Production Series
  • Month of Pi: A month of coding workshops 
  • Dungeons & Dragons Club
  • How to Build a Web Page Workshop
  • Get Stringy With It: Make Your Own String Art
  • Airplane Design Workshop
  • Montana Code Girls
Current Artist-in-Residence​
The TECH Lab is pleased to welcome our spring Artist-in-Residence, Mason Elkin! Mason will be holding a 4 part series on music production where he'll instruct teens how to create, mix, and master their own music. 

About Mason
Mason Elkin is a senior in high school, and has been producing music since 2013. Mason has lived in Billings since August, 2016, and was born and raised in New Albany, Indiana. Some of his favorite artists to listen to include Barely Alive, blink-182, The Zac Brown Band, and Hans Zimmer. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, camping, and backpacking.

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Music Production Series


Sign-up to participate in a 4 week music productions series! Teens who sign-up will be expected to attend all 4 sessions. All sessions will be held at 5 pm in the TECH Lab. Call 657-8290 to sign-up today!

April 12


Lesson 1: Digital Audio Workstation Basics


In this first lesson, we will go over the basics of the digital audio workstation and the other tools that producers and mix engineers have at their disposal.

April 19


Lesson 2: Audio Basics/Synthesis


In this lesson, we will discuss different waveforms, how they can be manipulated, and how to use them to make your own sounds.

April 26


Lesson 3: Effects and Automation


In lesson 3, we will talk about different types of effects that you can use to further modify your sounds, and how to change those effects over time to create evolving compositions.

May 3


Lesson 4: Mixing and Mastering


In the final lesson, we will go over how to tweak your track so that the listener can hear the full dynamic range of your song without distortion.


pi logo
Turing Test

March Program: A Month of Pi


Fridays
4-5:30 pm in the TECH Lab

Did you know that March 14 is Pi Day?  It’s a day to celebrate all things math, and especially those things related to the mathematical constant pi. It’s also a good day to eat pie, or engage in other pun-related activities.  The thing is, why only celebrate it for one day? We’re having a whole month of programs all working around our Raspberry Pi computer kits.  Come to the TECH Lab every Friday in March to learn computer coding and take part in some amazingly fun projects from Minecraft to telling stories with code. We promise that we’ll keep the puns to a minimum. Check below to see what we are doing each day for the workshops!


Month of Pi: Weekly Workshops


Call 657-8290 to sign-up for any or all programs

3/3: Introduction to Raspberry Pi


Learn what a Raspberry Pi computer is, how it works, and engage in some basic coding activities.

3/10: Storytelling With Code


Learn how to use computer code and simple “if/then” statements to tell a unique story!

3/17: Introduction to Processing


Learn how to use Processing, a program that uses computer code to draw pictures!

3/24: Coding in Minecraft


Learn how to use the Python coding language to play Minecraft on the Raspberry Pi!

3/31: A.I., Chat Bots, and the Turing Test


Learn about artificial intelligence, build a chat bot, and learn about the Turing Test!


Dungeons and Dragons Club


Thursdays
4 pm
TECH Lab


Join a local teen as he leads a group of epic adventurers in our Dungeons and Dragon Club.  We will discuss the basics of the game and get everyone set up, but if you are already a premiere DM come by and help craft your next adventure!
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How to Build a Web Page


Tuesday, March 28th
4 pm
TECH Lab


Join Trey, a TECH Lab mentor, as he shows teens the basics of how to make a web page!

Get Stringy With It: Make Your Own String Art


Wednesday, March 29th
4 pm
TECH Lab



Join TECH Lab mentor Chloe as she helps teens to create their own string art using wood, nails, and (of course) string!
string
simple planes

Airplane Design Workshop


Saturday, March 25th
2 pm
TECH Lab

Join Parker, a TECH Lab mentor, as he shows teens how to construct and fly an efficient aircraft using the Simple Planes flight simulator!


Regular Events

MT Code Girls: Coding Classes for Girls


Wednesdays and Fridays
4:45-5:45 pm
2nd Floor Computer Classroom


Montana Code Girls will be hosting coding classes and workshops for girls aged 9-19 at BPL. Any girls who are interested in learning how to code are welcome to come to the classes, and no previous coding knowledge or experience is required!  Call 696-8538 or visit the TECH Lab to sign-up.
mt code girls
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!

Meet the Mentors

treyTrey was raised in Montana. He enjoys reading, playing video games, programming, and learning new things. He is currently studying Computer Programming at MSUB City College. He didn't have big goals or ambitions (he also dropped out of public schools at a young age), and he didn't think he could afford to go to college since his family has always been poor. But teachers at the Lincoln Center encouraged him to go to college and apply for financial aid. Now he has a 3.9 GPA and many great opportunities afforded to him, including this mentorship!
Trey leads "Problem Solving with Programming" on Tuesdays.

parkerParker was born and raised in San Diego, California, and is here in Billings to study aviation at Rocky Mountain College. He enjoys flying airplanes and playing video games, especially Minecraft. Parker has big goals for himself when he graduates; he hopes to become an airplane pilot and fly people around the world. He joined the mentor program to gain leadership skills
Parker leads "Minecraft Thursdays."

chloe2Chloe is a returning mentor. She 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 market, taking photos, and reading. She also enjoys studying micro-invertebrates, as known as water bugs. She joined the mentoring program to help kids like her.
Chloe grew up poor and battled with mental health issues in high school. She received help from a local nonprofit that helped at-risk teens and went on to become a mentor and a 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 "Arts and Crafts" on Saturdays.

Special Thanks


WYO-Ben LogoWyo-Ben, a Bentonite clay manufacturing company in Billings, recently made a very generous donation to the Teen 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!

Do you have a suggestion for a workshop? Let us know!
Submit an Application (PDF) to be an instructor in the TECH Lab.

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