Parallax Insider News

Jessica Teaches eTextiles Workshop

  • By: Jessica Uelmen Published: 29 July, 2013 0 comments

Every now and again, a gal just has to get up out of that office chair and get her hands dirty. That was the case on Friday, July 26th, when I ran a short wearable electronics workshop for nine teenage ladies.

I’m currently pursuing a Master of Engineering through the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and my applied research project involves increasing girls’ interest in engineering. From my perspective, the fusion of electronics and fashion provides the perfect medium to show girls that engineering isn’t just a set of stereotypes.

We started the workshop with an overview of electronics concepts and moved into connecting LEDs, resistors, and batteries together with alligator clips. The workshop plan was for each of the girls to create a light-up bracelet, but many of the girls expressed interest in creating bows instead. We then embarked down the rabbit hole of “real world” engineering and created custom bow designs for most of the girls.

As a result, not all of the girls left with a working project, but I sure learned a lot from the experience. Hopefully the girls did too. Look for tutorials soon on, with content based on the lessons learned from the workshop.

Oh, and...On Wisconsin! :)