Teen tech lab opens its doors in Munhall

Idea Foundry

Idea Foundry, an Oakland-based non-profit organization and economic development firm, is excited to announce the launch of a Creative Technology Learning Lab to teach local youth crucial technology skills. Located within the Carnegie Library of Homestead, the lab is open during regular library hours.   

Complimentary themed-workshops are set to commence Monday, March 11 for four nights a week and will be available to middle and high students throughout Pittsburgh.  Better known as Teen Tech Zone, the workshops will enable students to gain hands-on technology skills at a self-directed pace.

Idea Foundry has arranged for top-notch creative professionals throughout the city to serve as rotating youth mentors, while emphasizing the workshop themes.  The weekly schedule includes:  Mondays – Movie Magic, Tuesdays – Creative Arts Express, Wednesdays – Get Your Game On and Thursdays – Don’t Stop the Music. Students will interact with the professionals to learn how creative technologies are used in the workforce. With the help of these experts, students can earn legitimate certificates or badges, allowing them to build on their resumes for future endeavors, both personal and professional. This is part of the Mozilla Open Badge Framework. 

The creation of this lab enables Pittsburgh to serve as a positive environment for our region’s youth. Supporting other successful developments, such as the Chicago Public Library’s YOUmedia Center, Pittsburgh is a model for creative technology and gives its students an opportunity to learn technology skills, which otherwise may be limited. With a content-rich website full of video tutorials and lessons, students can also use this knowledge to teach themselves skills from outside the lab.

Funded by a $25,000 Heinz Endowments grant, the lab was facilitated by a joint partnership between Idea Foundry and the Carnegie Library of Homestead. The site was chosen to augment educational resources in the area, as well as provide easy accessibility to participants throughout Pittsburgh.  With visions of expansion in mind, this is the first step in revitalizing the library into a youth activity center and a thriving community hub. The grant provided computers, stocked with professional and creative software applications, as well as musical keyboards and headsets.  The software includes applications in productivity (Microsoft Office), graphic arts (Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator), web design (Dreamweaver), Audio/Video (Mixcraft, Lightworks) and Programming (Unity, GameSalad).  Emily Salsberry, Library Services Coordinator, is anxious for students to learn these new computer skills. Salsberry states, “It will be very rewarding to see them use technology in a more meaningful way.”

Students interested in registering for the workshops can call 412-462-3444 or email techlab@homesteadlibrary.org.  For further information, they can also visit www.creativetechnologylabs.com.

About Idea Foundry

Idea Foundry, an economic development organization, serves to enhance the growth of Western Pennsylvania by creating high-quality job opportunities throughout the region.  Since its inception, it has launched over 100 technology-based, start-up companies. The hallmark of its work is a hands-on approach to assisting individuals and organizations in making Pittsburgh a better place to live and learn.

About the Carnegie Library of Homestead

The Carnegie Library of Homestead, a public library founded by Andrew Carnegie, has served its community for 115 years.  Enhancing learning and wellness, it holds over 34,000 volumes, and contains a 1,000 seat concert hall and an athletic facility, housing a pool and batting cage.  

About the Heinz Endowments

The Heinz Endowments supports efforts to make southwestern Pennsylvania a premier place to live and work, a center for learning and educational excellence, and a region that embraces diversity and inclusion.

Contact Information

Idea Foundry
4551 Forbes Avenue, Suite 200
Pittsburgh, PA 15213