Recently I was doing a workshop at an IEEE summit in Philadelphia when I ran into a friend, Sarah Johnson, who does outreach for TechGirlz. Of course she was wearing the most appropriate jewelry—a computer circuit circle of awesomeness. Apparently she got it on Etsy from Circuit Breaker Labs, located in Rochester. I know you are thinking this might be a RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology) connection, but the shop owner Amanda Preske is actually a chemistry PhD at University of Rochester. That doesn’t stop her from loving the tech world and appreciating the beauty of electronics. You can actually blame it on her brother.
I started making circuit board jewelry a good number of years ago, when my brother dismantled his computer. I was fascinated by the range of colors and components within the case of the CPU. It was only a matter of time before I combined them with resin to create geeky jewelry and accessories.
Her store offers key chains, cuff links, and other fun doo-dads all constructed from recycled circuit boards. So, if you are considering a holiday gift for a tech lover, this might be it. For those of you who are more artistically inclined, lately I’ve been seeing some DIY resin kits at craft stores, so you might be able to create your own. Let me also suggest something that my husband purchased for me a few years ago, the iNecklace. I went gaga over the power button like pulsing and it is neutral enough to match any outfit with guaranteed interest at social events. Will it help you land a job? Not sure, but it will certainly lead you to some great conversations about tech. Wear your tech love fashionably.
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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.
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