LED Dress Wows Daily Show, Promotes Google Coding Initiative for Women

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LED Dress Wows Daily Show, Promotes Google Coding Initiative for Women


Actress Lupita Nyong’o appeared Wednesday night on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah to talk about the much anticipated Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. As she walked across the stage to join Noah, the bodice of her dress cascaded with sequences of light-up LEDs.

“Is this like a Star Wars thing or is it just a fashion choice?” asked Noah. Nyong’o said she did feel attracted to it because of her work on Star Wars, but that it’s not directly related. The light-up LED dress was made by fashion designer Zac Posen (who some might recognize as a judge on Project Runway) in collaboration with Google. Posen worked with a team of 30 teenage girls who provided the coding for his design.

Nyong’o wore the dress to promote Made with Code, a Google non-profit initiative to inspire more young girls to learn computer science through applicable interests like fashion, animation, art, music, and dance. The Zac Posen dress is available as a project on the Made with Code website. “This is the future of the industry: mixing craft, fashion and technology,” Posen told People when the dress made its debut at New York Fashion Week 2015. “There’s a discrepancy in the coding field, hardly any women are at the forefront, and that’s a real shame. If we can entice young women through the allure of fashion, to get them learning this language, why not?”

Besides a number of projects aimed at beginners, Made with Code also features a page of mentors (among them is littleBits CEO Ayah Bdeir) and a crash course on the current state of female representation in STEM fields. Google even conducted and published their own findings on the phenomenon:

“Google believes that a diverse workforce leads to better products for diverse users, and is especially committed to reversing the negative trends around women in Computer Science. To guide the company’s outreach and investments in this space, Google conducted a study to identify and understand the factors that influence young women’s decisions to pursue degrees in Computer Science. It identified encouragement and exposure as the leading factors influencing this critical choice and learned that anyone can help increase female participation in Computer Science, regardless of their technical abilities or background.”

Watch the Made with Code video below and then head to Comedy Central to see Nyong’o’s stunning entrance.

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Sophia is the managing editor of the Make: blog. When she’s not greasing editorial gears, she likes to run, ride, climb, and lift things, and make lo-tech goods like zines, desserts, and altered clothing. @sophiuhcamille

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