Tech n Tacos: Technology Petting Zoo

IMG_0289We had so many ideas for Teen Tech Week so we extended to Teen Tech Month.

Our first event was Tech n Tacos

Tech n Tacos is basically a tech zoo where the teens eat tacos during the program.  We’ve had a tough time with attendance during past Teen Tech Week programs so we thought we’d try to be clever with the title.  That was mistake #1.

Everyone, including parents, asked what tech n tacos meant.  I posted an explanation on Facebook and it received over 100 views-by far the most views of a post I’ve ever done on FB.  After our explanation, everyone understood and we had 22 teens in the program!

What is Tech n Tacos?

We gathered all of the technology that we had and put it out of the tables for teens to go around and “pet.”  The teens also ate tacos.  The tacos aren’t significant, it’s just alliteration.

The Technology-Petting zoo stations


The Bow tie and the “bowties are cool” on my laptop was made with the vinyl cutter

Silhouette Cutter.  The Silhouette is similar to the Cricket Cutting Machine.  We use it to make vinyl decals.  The decals are great because you can stick it to any surface, remove it, and restick it. You can visit the online store to purchase designs such as nerd glasses, mustaches, butterflies, etc. We had a couple of designs but most of the teens did their name in a cool font.  We have the Portrait but there’s the more expensive Cameo can do more stuff.  This was one of the crowd faves.

T-Pain Auto Tuner. A couple of years ago auto tuning was all the rage.  I IMG_0280jumped on that bandwagon and purchased an auto tuning microphone.  The microphone is kind of awesome because it allows you to plug into an MP3/iPod and sing over a track. You can record your song, plug in the mic to your computer and upload it from the mic to burn on a cd or upload to iTunes.  You will probably have to purchase it from Amazon.  We used the T-Pain auto tuning microphone.

Cream & Sugar App. This is a free app I dowloaded from App Store.  With photo strip with appthis app, you can make and print pictures like photo strips in the “vintage” photo booths. It’s a pretty cool app and I highly recommend it.

IMG_0273Adobe Draw. This is a free app from the App store.  It’s just a drawing app but I wanted the teens to be familiar with the Adobe name.  They were able to print their picture and make it into a button with our button maker.  I strongly recommend a button maker-teens love it!

3D Doodler. This is a 3D pen.  You draw a picture on regular paper and

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trace your picture with the 3D pen.  You remove it from the paper and your drawing is in 3D. It cools instantly on the paper.  This was also one of the popular activities at the “zoo.”  The pen costs about $100 and the plastic is about $9/pack.

Hashtags. We had a competition on Twitter.  Often times teens are consumers and we want them to be producers.  They know what a hashtag is but most of them don’t know it’s purpose or how to use it properly.

After Tacos

Kahoot. Kahoot is a site where you can do quizzes and surveys in real time.  You can play other’s quizzes or you can create your own.  Once you create your own, you launch the game and the players go to on the smart device or computer to play.  This was by far the most popular activity of the day.  After the program, the teens went to the library computers to play Kahoot.

Snapchat. Snapchat is a free app that allows you to take a picture and send it to someone.  You can set a time limit for the viewer-3 second and up and then it goes away.  You can also do stories where you take video or multiple pictures. Anyone who follows you will receive your story and will have 24 hours to view it.  We set up a teen snapchat account where teens can follow us to see behind the scenes stuff or whatever we choose to snap.

Vine. It’s an app that allows you to make 6 second videos that run on a loop.

Buzzfeed.  Buzzfeed is that ADHD website with all the quizzes.  Users can create their own Buzzfeed quiz.  Once again, the purpose is to turn teens from consumers into producers.

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As I stated above, we had 22 teens in attendance and the program cost about $40-food.  This is a great low cost program and teens learn something while having a lot of fun.


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