How to Make the Perfect Kit for Teaching Wearable Tech #WearableWednesday #wearabletech #Arduino
If you’ve ever tried to lead a wearable tech class, you know there are some difficulties. One of the challenges can be teaching sewing for e-textiles, while another challenge can be teaching soldering for traditional electronics. It isn’t that either of these techniques is difficult, but when you are trying to combine them with electronics 101, coding and project design, you usually come up short. Students like instant gratification and usually there is not enough time to get it all done. Well, one of my fave artists Maria Castellanos recently sent me some information on a kit she developed to handle these very issues for her teen workshops at laboral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial in Spain. Her winning combination utilizes cables and plugs!
Maria is working with the theme of “Humans and Machines”, so her kit includes sensors, servos and LEDs. You can tell by the Arduino that different plugs allow for quick configurations. I also like the addition of the heat shrink tubing to protect the solder joints on the microcontroller—it’s ready for plenty of use! So, what does this mean for the teacher? If you want to copy this idea you’ll need to do some homework about how you want to configure your Arduino for optimal setups and choose the right cables and plugs. As for doing the soldering, you can either have a solder party and invite others to help you get the work done, or you can have a different group of students create the kits. This is a great makerspace project and I’m so happy Maria shared her idea. If you are interested in connector options, we’ve got a few in the shop—check out our 3-pin JST Plug Set or just search “connectors”. Do you have helpful hints for teaching wearables? Let us know and we’ll share them.
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.