Monday, December 7, 2015

Wearable Tech

Several students from all grade levels participated in the 2nd tech mini camp just before Thanksgiving break.  This camp was all about wearable tech and included learning opportunities in several areas - sewing, circuitry, design, and programming.  

First they learned about what wearable tech was through a few videos from leaders in the wearable tech arena. Then students learned about the Auduino Lilypads and designed how they wanted to lay out their electronic components.  

The kits come with the little CPU, a light sensor, temperature sensor, a couple of switches, 5 white LEDs and a multicolor LED thus providing several inputs and outputs for students to work with.

Now in order to test their concepts, they hooked up the circuitry with alligator clips. This verified that once sewn properly, the circuits would actually let electricity flow to the desired parts.

Since sewing was a new concept to the students, we first went through threading a needle, how to put knots in thread and basic stitching.  Then following their paper designs they connected positives from LEDs or sensors to appropriate locations on the Lilypad. Then finally connected the negative circuit to all of the LEDs.

Then came programming. Students activated sensors and blinked lights in the desired rhythms with their programming skills using the Arduino language (subset of the C language). They connected their creations to the computer and downloaded code to the onboard processor on the Lilypad in order to test the code.

The final day came for the projects! Students hooked up the battery, disconnected from the computer and proudly displayed and put on their fine art!  Please watch the video below for their final pieces of wearable tech!