Sewing Circuits

Another Sunday another new project to play around with at the Museum.  No more woodworking in the Shop for now, back to electricity.  Electricity mixed with sewing.  I love it when different projects mix different themes and ideas.  The project for the day was creating fabric bracelets with with light up LED’s.

A great group of kids signed up for the first workshop of the day; Joyce, Paul, Daniel and their Dad.  Firstly, they were taught how to create a simple circuit and switch by Rebecca and Pei.  Then they were shown how that same circuit could be created using special conductive thread.  They were also shown how  the metal clasp kept the fabric around your wrist could work as an “on” and “off” switch for the light.  Bassically, when you strapped the bracelet on you completed the circuit.  In words this sounds kind of complicated but laid out in front of you the concept is pretty simple.

A great aspect of this project is that it is open to experimentation; the kids started asking about adding more lights to the wristband.  We told them to try it out; see if two LED’s could be powered by the battery.  It was great to see the kids take what they had initially learned in the project and start attempting to develop thier own twist on it.  Visitors becoming Makers; that’s what its all about.  Visitors prototyping and brainstorming; that’s what we need more of.

I have to say that I really enjoyed interacting with the kids’ Dad during my time spent in the Shop.  He was really enthusiastic about learning all about this LED wristband project too.  We were both amazed at how easily you could combine sewing with electronics in such a practical manner.  And maybe that’s the handle, teaching new skills by combining them with others.  Art and Science, Sewing and Circuits, Robotics and Literature…