by Kip Odell
Not every library has a ton of technology to use during Teen Tech Week, but there are many low-tech programs perfect for TTW. One good idea is a Take It Apart program, a chance for teens to strip old and broken tech that can range from phones to computers to fax machines. It's a great way to expose teens to older equipment, to let them figure out how they work, and to discover what this stuff looks like on the inside. Of course, the teens just love digging into hardware and tearing it apart!
In setting up this program, the main component will be collecting things for the teens to take apart. Recycling centers will often work with libraries to provide broken hardware and recycle leftovers at the end of the program. Accepting donations at the library can also garner a lot of equipment, especially if you publicize proper recycling.
Take It Apart can also turn into an art and reuse program. If your patrons quickly demolish all of your outdated machines, they can build new art sculptures from the dismantled tech. This program appeals to a wide age range, from younger school-age children through teenagers. It's a perfect low-tech program for Teen Tech Week!