Leslie Birch is unflinchingly honest about her stance on women in tech, which is refreshing to hear in a culture that has all but demonized the word “feminist.” Quite simply, this local female maker wants more women in tech and works hard to promote a culture of innovation and inclusion. Impossibly boundless in her energy and optimism, Birch is also a dauntingly capable person to be around.
It only takes a few seconds of show and tell to notice that Birch approaches making the same way she approaches feminism in the maker community: fearlessly. Her vision extends from wearables to robotics, and her appetite to make and teach other to make shows no signs of slowing down.
Her many projects (and their many accolades) include NASA Space Apps award-winning Senti8 and international Adafruit + element14 Design Challenge’s FLORAbrella. She is also an artist and mentor, spending time at the Village of Arts and Humanities and at the Philadelphia Free Library for Maker-Jawn in April. Among her numerous maker projects, Birch also runs her own video production company for nonprofits called Human+Nature.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.