|To learn more about the awesome e-textile projects pictured here, read the rest of the post below!|
As part of the STEAM Innovation Summer Institute last week, South Fayette invited teachers from across the western Pennsylvania area to participate in STEAM workshops ranging from robotics to game design to environmental literacy. Five participants--three science teachers and two Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) teachers--chose to attend an e-textile workshop hosted by the Creativity Labs and our partners at Sparkfun Education.
For the first two days of the workshop, Sophia from the Creativity Labs led the teachers in learning about circuits, creating an e-bookmark project, making a LilyTiny project of their choice, and beginning to program in Modkit Micro. Even those teachers who were not well-versed in sewing enjoyed the chance to create and personalize projects that combined crafting and circuitry.
|This Chemistry teacher's e-bookmark consists of a battery holder on the back, sewn with conductive thread to a push-button switch and two sewable LilyPad LEDs. She customized it to fit her class's theme!|
|One of the FCS teachers works on sewing LilyPad LEDs to the pre-programmed LilyTiny, which makes the lights flash in different patterns.|
|This Science teacher was the first to figure out how to program LEDs to blink in Modkit!|
On the last two days of the workshop, Angela Sheehan from Sparkfun Education joined Sophia to facilitate working with the ProtoSnap LilyPad Development Simple Board. Angela shared a great many e-textile projects as inspiration, as well as her expertise from a great deal of work on e-textile workshops with teachers and youth. On the last day of the workshop, Angela shared some insulation techniques such as using fabric glue or iron-on interfacing to shield the conductive thread stitches from touching each other and causing dangerous short circuits.
The final projects the teachers created were ambitious and creative! They programmed the LilyPad Simple microcontroller in the block-based programming software Modkit to make LEDs flash and the LilyPad buzzer play music notes. Angela helped some of them to program a momentary switch as well. Finally they sewed all these components onto textiles of their choice, resulting in the projects below:
|This Science teacher sewed two red and two green LEDs onto this ugly Christmas sweater. Her buzzer plays "Jingle Bells." The LilyPad and buzzer are both on the underside of the sweater.|
|This Science teacher used iron-on decals to attach the "Jedi Master" letters to this jersey, and sewed on a white Yoda patch. She programmed the lights to flash in order from Yoda outward, mimicking a lightsaber coming to life.|
|This FCS teacher decided to attach both her LilyPad and buzzer to this jacket with snaps so they could be removed when the jacket needs to be washed. She added four white LEDs, and her buzzer plays "Morning Has Broken."|
|This Science teacher designed a print-out iron-on decal that contained all of her favorite things, ironed it onto the shirt, and then added nine lights in varying colors and a buzzer that plays the chorus from "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun."|
The Creativity Labs was proud to continue our relationship of innovation with South Fayette School District and Sparkfun Education! We wish our teacher participants all the best as they bring e-textiles back to their classrooms!
Special thanks, as always, to Aileen Owens, Director of Technology and Innovation at South Fayette, who invited us, as well as to everyone who helped her to put together this immensely successful STEAM Innovation Institute.
TL;DR My last day at Mozilla already happened, but I’m still me. I bring together disparate parts to foster learning, spread openness and design for participation. I’m a creative generalist who likes to make stuff, and I’m open to exploring opportunities.
About 5.5 years ago I took a broken dream to the first Mozilla Festival (at the time it was called Drumbeat) in Barcelona. Going to this festival with my struggling project was a last ditch effort, I was hanging on, trying to make it work.
Drumbeat was the place that I was finally able to let go, start over, try again. The people I met there gave me new ideas, they introduced me to a way of working that fit with how my brain operates. Drumbeat lit a fire under me. I met Mozillians.
I’ve resisted the status quo because when I questioned it, I don’t received satisfactory answers. Over the years, Mozillians taught me how to focus my defiance towards a common good. It’s that focus that has cultivated me and my way of being in the professional space.
I believe in open, and I believe that what Mozilla is trying to do for the world is a just cause. Openness can be hard, but in my experience the right thing is always more difficult.
Last Monday was my final day as a paid contributor, and I’m in the process of detangling Mozilla from my own identity. We’ve grown up together in this community. We have rallied around a nascent vision and made it something that is resonating throughout the world. I am proud to have contributed to every aspect of the Foundation’s work – from strategy to learning design to prototyping to evangelism to community management to production – I’ve helped Mozilla innovate in the teaching and learning space.
Our work has inspired people, and I’ll always be a Mozillian. But I want to be more too. Mozilla is a part of me, but it can no longer define me.
I don’t know what’s next for me, and that’s ok. I will continue to think and write and make and learn and fail, and I will continue to embody the open ethos. Even when it’s hard, especially when it’s hard. In the immediate future, I will pause, breathe and take stock. I can literally do anything with the competencies and skills I’ve developed and honed over the years. That feels like a powerful invitation to do the right things.
There is a lot of right in the world. I’m looking for something where I can design learning/engagement opportunities, develop leaders and apply open practices, digital/web literacies and all things geeky. I want to help people/orgs grow, collectively, as they allow me to grow together with them. I want to shift power structures and community dynamics, be a voice for people who need one and just be who I am – defiant, curious, unwavering in the ideals of open.
If you think you have a right thing for me, let me know. You all know how to find me. laura [at] this domain is where you started interacting with me in 2010, and it’s where you can continue to do so. You can also find me on twitter or LinkedIn (or just google me, I’m all over the web). I hope some of you reach out – there are plenty of wonderful memories and new ideas to discuss, and I will always be here for my Mozilla friends.