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March 11, 2014
By Lisa Dare

If you visit your local library, you might notice it’s a bit buzzier than usual. That sound you hear is students learning about technology during Teen Tech Week. Every year, thousands of public libraries reach out to teenagers to introduce them to the exciting world of technology.

The Young Adult Library Services Organization (YALSA) hosts Teen Tech Week to expose students to the rich digital resources public libraries provide. Many libraries take it a step further, providing an array of programming around science and math subjects, including hands-on experiments in robotics and computer tear-downs. The YALSA STEM wiki also provides a terrific list of books to spur students' interest in math and science subjects, including fiction lit.

Teen Tech Week is part of a larger movement to expose children to science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, subjects. Exposing kids early to new topics can create a lifelong hunger for learning about them. And programs like Teen Tech Week can make a real difference in places where students may not be exposed to cutting-edge technologies. Public libraries provide a critical link to technology for poorer students, who may not have access to technological resources in their homes or libraries.

The focus on STEM subjects comes as America falls behind in educating IT, engineers and other  technical professionals as the economy leans more heavily on their skill sets. U.S. companies already struggle to fill IT positions, and forecasters predict this shortage will increase. 

To learn more about Teen Tech Week, visit YALSA's webpage. 

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