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The Labs @ CLP

Teens learn best when their learning is connected to their passions, desires and curiosities. Since 2012, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (CLP) has been offering The Labs, an innovative service that provides teens with access to equipment, software and supportive staff in a welcoming learning environment (our Teenspaces!) with a focus on creation using technology. Teens can create digital art, record music, program robots and so much more in any CLP location!

The Labs Kits

These kits are available for use in all Teenspaces across 18 locations at CLP.  They include a variety of activities to match teens with engaging creative technology. The kits are ideal for beginners while also offering the potential for deeper engagement depending on a teen’s interest. Teens can use these Lab Kits whenever Teen staff are available to assist them or as part of Teen Choice programs. (To see if Teen Choice is offered at your neighborhood library check our event listings.)

The kits include:

  • Music Kits: Use Garageband and a mini-keyboard to create a musical opus
  • Digital Art Kits: Get creative on an iPad with an Apple Pencil
  • Stop Motion and Video Kits: Create a stop-motion video or record a video
  • Robotics Kits: Drive or learn how to program with a Sphero robot
  • DSLR Kit: Use a high quality DSLR camera to take amazing pictures
  • Cricut Machine: Precision-cut intricate designs onto materials like paper, cardstock and vinyl

The kits are designed to be self-directed while CLP Teen staff are there to help and offer suggested activities.

Recording Booths

The Teenspaces at several CLP locations* Allegheny, Downtown, and East Liberty offer recording space in the form of recording booths. Teens can record their singing, rapping or voice over, jam on an electric guitar or create rhythms on a beat machine. These resources are available to teens only (grades 6 – 12, ages 12 – 19) and participants must earn a Recording Badge before being able to reserve the Recording Booth.

*While only these three locations have recording booths, all CLP Teenspaces have Garageband available as part of The Labs Kits.

Teen Media Awards

Every spring, Allegheny County teens in grades 6-12 are invited to enter original creations, inventions, and works of art in the annual Teen Media Awards contest.

These are the categories:

  • 2D Art & Design (paintings, drawings, prints, etc.)
    *Submissions from this category may also be chosen as cover art for the Ralph Munn anthology, an annual publication of entries from the Ralph Munn teen creative writing contest
  • 3D Art & Design (clay, 3D prints, models, etc.)
  • Short Film (original film under 10 minutes in length)
  • Fashion (hand-made, modified, or up-cycled apparel and accessories)
  • Invention (a robot, video game, board game, web app, or other original invention)
  • Music & Audio Recording (original composition)
  • Photography (original photo)

Check here for more information and to see previous year’s winners.

Want to know more?
Ask a Teen Specialist or email for more info.

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