Best Buy Teen Tech Center
The Best Buy Teen Tech Center is an interactive resource center in Hennepin County Library – Minneapolis Central where teens can access tools to become technology creators instead of passive consumers. In this safe out-of-school-time learning environment, teens work with adult mentors to explore their own ideas, develop new skills and build confidence through the use of technology. Every day after school, an average of 30 local youth ages 12-19 come to the Teen Tech Center to record music, produce digital videos, design and print 3D projects, develop video games, and even build their own computers.
A safe, creative space for teens
In a recent survey asking members why they liked the Teen Tech Center, there was one common answer: it is a safe space. Teens feel respected by staff and peers and free to express themselves creatively.
Drawing more diverse youth
into STEM fields
According to Wilder Research, only 9% of Twin Cities high school graduates are interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) careers. When young people participate in programs like the Library's Teen Tech Squad and Best Buy Teen Tech Center, gaining STEM work experience and experiencing exciting, peer-driven STEM learning opportunities, they are more likely to succeed in those subjects academically and choose STEM careers.
Friends Power the
Teen Tech Squad
Through Teen Tech Squad, Hennepin County Library hires and trains 28 teens to design and deliver project-based STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) workshops to 600 teens and adolescents. Teen Tech Squad Leaders work 6-10 hours per week designing projects together, engaging with adult mentors, and facilitating STEM projects and acting as role models for other youth.
Building 21st Century Skills
for a 21st century workforce
Digital literacy skills are critical to teens for succeeding in school, applying for jobs, researching colleges, and building career skills.
But thousands of youth in Hennepin County lack resources like home internet connections, computers, and tablets. And many urban schools cannot afford the advanced digital equipment—like 3-D printers and digital editing tools—that is now common in many high school and college media labs.
Teen Tech Squad is helping make up this deficit in 7 Hennepin County libraries serving diverse, low-income communities.
Expression & Exploration
Teens coordinate workshops exploring digital media and open-source technology.
These activities foster social connections, contribute to the community, and reinforce experimentation, collaboration, and creative problem solving.
Help Empower Teens with Hands-on Learning
Foster creativity and confidence