Creative teens + technology = ideaLAB!

This last week brought terrific news: the Community Technology Center at the Denver Public Library was awarded a Library Services and Technology Act grant from the Colorado State Library and the Institute of Museum and Library Services! The grant will fund the creation of what we’re calling the ideaLAB, a digital creation space just for teens.

The purpose of the ideaLAB is to provide a space where Denver youth have access to professional-level equipment and software, creating a positive, safe after-school space where teens can become producers of digital media. In the lab, you can create and record your own music; film, edit, and produce your own videos; make your own video games and distribute them online; create digital art and photo manipulations and print them out in color; create 3-D models for animation and games; and much more.

We’ll have four state-of-the-art workstations – two PC and two Mac – as well as a lot of peripherals: music equipment, including microphones, keyboard, mixing station, DJ controller, and a guitar; video equipment, including video cameras, tripods, a lighting kit, and a green screen; and digital art equipment, including a scanner and Wacom drawing tablet. We’ll also have the full Adobe suite – Photoshop, Premiere, AfterEffects, etc. – and specialized software for video game creation, creating comics and cartoons, and Sonar and FL Studio for music creation. We’ve also invested in a couple Arduino boards and Raspberry Pi computers for teens interested in the hardware side of technology. I can't wait to see what gets created once all these tools are put in the hands of teens!

The current timeline has the ideaLAB opening in May 2013, and it will be open at least 20 afterschool and weekend hours a week, staffed with adults and fellow teens excited to help teens finish their projects. Know a teen interested in getting involved before then? The Teen Tech Club, open to any teens in grade 6 through 12, meets every Thursday from 3 to 5 PM in the CTC, on Level 4 of the Central Library. Besides working on making our own video games, comics, music, and more, the Teen Tech Club will also help in the planning of the ideaLAB. We’re also always looking for adults with tech skills interested in working with teens – or anyone else who may need some help. Click here to apply to be a docent in the CTC!

Image courtesy DeviantArt user Jakuszczon

This program was funded in part with a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services which administers the Library Services and Technology Act.

Written by nate on September 19, 2012


james on September 20, 2012


The ideaLAB sounds like it's going to be incredible, and I'm also looking forward to seeing the work that comes out of it.

doctor bunny on May 24, 2013



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