Professionals & Mentors
Experts and Partnerships
Community partners are a key component of Teen Services here at Billings Public Library. We are always on the lookout to find local experts and professionals to collaborate with for activities to get teens interested in the library, reading, and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math). Local partners are instrumental in helping us develop relevant and interesting opportunities for our teens. This is especially true for our TECH Lab.
Organizations such as the YMCA and Girl Scouts have brought groups to the lab for specialized STEAM programs, and we partner with Free Verse, a creative writing organization that works with incarcerated youth. Many other in-person workshops have been held in the TECH Lab, with topics including rocketry, architecture, robotics, coding, and more. We have also been growing our virtual programs to continue providing fun and educational activities while social distancing.
Interested in hosting a workshop with us?
Email Vanessa at email@example.com.
Connecting Youth to Positive Role Models
The TECH Lab works to find students currently enrolled in college to act as peer mentors in the lab. Mentors work with youth, share their knowledge and expertise, help youth learn and work on projects, and develop relationships in order to boost social skills and show that college is a positive and attainable goal.
Mentors volunteer their time each week, and are responsible for holding three programs each semester. They also receive a stipend for their time in the lab. The lab recruits mentors from MSU-Billings and Rocky Mountain College, but anyone who is interested, enrolled in college, and has knowledge to share, can contact us to learn more or view the Mentor Handbook.
Ready to apply to be a Mentor? Fill out the form here. Virtual opportunities may be available while the TECH Lab remains closed.
Dr. Elaine Westbrook
Ongoing workshop host since December 2021. She is an assistant professor in the College of Education at MSUB, has over two decades’ experience teaching STEM, and has participated in NASA trainings all over the United States. She now brings all her knowledge about astronomy and science to Billings, MT!
Workshops provided so far include:
- How to Build Your Dragon- an exploration in genetics and 3D printing
- Exploring the Moon and Beyond- An astronomy workshop
- Programming with Circuits- An introduction to Circuit Playground
Fall 2020 TECH Lab Artist-In-Residence
Megan Stacey (she/her) is a director, performer, and media artist from Lake George, NY. She is a graduate of both the New Media and Theatre and Performance departments at Purchase College. She specializes in devised, immersive, and transmedia performance. She is a professional musician, coordinator, educator, and all-around conduit of fun. Her practice involves creating live and digital events that are filled with joy, and allow artists the space, resources, and honor to make their best work. Her work centers on creating communities for beautiful things to happen. Her work often plays with humor and horror, which are one and the same. Her work is interested in fun, and how serious it can be. When she's not fighting the good fight, you can find her playing video games, reading and sewing, or cooking large vats of soup for friends (no matter how hot it is outside).
Clare Keenan is a summer hire here at the Billings Public Library, working in the TECH Lab.
Outside of the library, she is a full-time student at Montana State University Billings. Clare is double majoring in English and environmental studies, with focuses in literature and environmental advocacy. Using her degrees, Clare’s dream career path takes her towards environmental education, storytelling, and advocacy work.
Clare created and presented a workshop called
World Building with Wolves!