Hello World! My name is Tenaya Hurst and I teach at Camp Galileo – The Tech Summer Camps at the Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose. My class is titled Wearable Technology (and I get to teach Circuits & Electronics and Maker Studio). Students know very little about the class before attending, but they do know that electricity will be involved…and some of them may have heard that I am Electric myself!!
Monday we start by introducing basic sewing techniques, because after all the original Wearable Technology is sewing itself. Cave People were Makers before all of us, and they figured out how to secure 2 pieces of material together. We focus on running stitch as this is what we’ll be using for our technology. We also learn 3 different variations of hemming stitches. The students practice in napkins I obtained after my friend’s wedding. 4 sides, 4 stitches to practice. We also practice sewing buttons because those are similar to the surface mount LEDs.
Tuesday is for Technology and Trashion. Using trash or refuse to create art and fashion can be so much fun. More than just bubble wrap dresses, many materials can be repurposed and reused to make something super unique. I encourage the kids that Trashion is more than just using trash, the maker has to adjust and adapt the materials, paint, cut, twist, weave, etc. The students also enjoy receiving their Arduino Woman wearable tech kit using the Lilypad coincell battery holder. We learn basic circuits in parallel because those are the best to use for Lilypad circuits for LED brightness. We have the students draw out their plan for their design and where the positive track of their thread will go versus their negative thread.
Wednesday, we keep working towards our Maker Faire – Fashion Show goal. There is no theme for the fashion show other than every camper has the opportunity to use 10 LEDs of different colors and I encourage T-shirt redesign, Trashion, and accessories to be part of their creations. My assistants and I are busy working with each student individually to make sure that they understand the connections and how to not short circuit their design!
Thursday, we rehearse our runway walk, poses, and blue steel puckered look! My students know to show off their LEDs and make sure the audience can see their work! Some students are deep in the failure phase of engineering so we try our best to get everyone’s circuit working reliably by today.
Friday is the full on Maker Faire and Fashion Show. Students start making right away, they absolutely can’t wait to get started. The room is all decked out in faire-ness and the runway is set. We have just a few hours for the finishing touches and then the parents and guests arrive for our show! I begin the show by talking about our class and what we’ve accomplished in our brief week together, praising the innovation and dedication of my students and staff. I explain a little about who I am and some details about the Lilypad and my wearable technology kits. Then the fashion show begins to 2 songs that I recorded, especially for the event, and each student takes the runway by themselves or with a fellow maker. It is truly special to see their confidence and poses and LED creations. Following the show, we have a paparazzi frenzy and I get to meet all the parents.
This week, July 14-19 2014, we’re exploring wearable electronics of all kinds on Make! If it is electronic and belongs on your body, we’d love to hear about it! You can find all of our wearable articles by going here.