Houston Public Library partnered with Houston-based CITGO Petroleum Corporation to host the CITGO Teen Tech Fair on March 14, 2015 at the David M. Henington-Alief Regional Library. This is the second time CITGO has partnered with HPL to bring a teen technology event Henington-Alief Regional Library. Local school districts and charter schools were contacted to encourage their students to participate and KIPP POLARIS Academy for Boys sent a busload of students to attend! The 2015 Spring CITGO Teen Tech Fair was a rousing success with more than 300 registered attendees and a total exceeding 500.
Teens were able to visit nine hands-on stations run by community organizations. At the Pop Shop Houston station, teens experimented with scents and made their own perfume then learned how to make 30 Second Ice Cream with dry ice. The American Robotics Academy encouraged teens to learn about basic circuitry and robotics with real robots for participants to use. Teens could even watch a 3D printer from TX/RX Labs build figurines using plastic filaments! The Houston Museum of Natural Science provided their Discovery Dome where teens could watch short science films on the curved ceiling, as well as two science stations about spatial reasoning and ink chromatography. One of the most popular stations was Flipbook Studios where participants could take a series of pictures wearing funny hats or glasses then have the pictures printed in a small book that, when flipped quickly, created an animated short. Finally, teens could hone their video gaming acumen with the Gaming Station featuring Minecraft.
Participants were also able to register for several hands-on classes during the CITGO Teen Tech Fair! Volunteers from Code Park taught teens general skills for Minecraft, a wildly popular online gaming platform set in a world where everything is created with cubes. Teens were able to give 3D printing a try thanks to TX/RX Labs who had fifteen 3D printers available for students. In the Iron Yard coding class, teens could learn the basics of HTML, one of the most common programming languages used in website development.