RES.2-005 | Spring 2015 | High School

Girls Who Build: Make Your Own Wearables Workshop

Instructor Insights

Advice for Educators

In this section, Kristen Railey shares advice for educators interested in adapting this workshop.

When You Don’t Work at Lincoln Laboratory

Some educators might be curious about how to adapt this workshop without access to a facility like the MIT Lincoln Laboratory. In Massachusetts, we’re very lucky to have a lot of maker workshops. These facilities can be very useful for a workshop like Make Your Own Wearables. For 3D printing, you can pay a fee, bring your CAD file, and MakerBot will print it for you. Sometimes public libraries also have 3D printers. The coding and circuits are pretty easy to do if you have a laptop. The whole kit, available through Adafruit, costs less than $40 and the Arduino board is only $25.

What if educators don’t have access to experts in the field? Adafruit provides many resources for educators that can help in this scenario. Their “For Educators” forum may be especially useful. The forum is live, so if educators run into problems during the planning process, others in the field can respond in a timely manner. Adafruit also offers videos and forum participants often contribute small portions of code (such as the code needed to illuminate the shoe!). There are really a lot of good resources directly related to the project.

Develop More Wearable Circuit Ideas

I hope educators who facilitate this workshop in the future will come up with more wearable circuit ideas. In fact, one of the best parts of the code is that you can be creative with it and develop your own projects. I would encourage educators to add on to the project we’ve started.

Follow Up with Participants

I would also encourage educators to follow up with the girls after the workshop. This is something I didn’t do. I hope educators will come up with ways to document whether attending the workshop sparked girls’ interest in pursuing engineering. I know a few of the girls, who attended our workshop, applied to an engineering summer camp at MIT, but it would be great to have a formal way to follow up with participants.

Learning Resource Types
Image Gallery
Tutorial Videos
Activity Assignments
Lecture Notes
Instructor Insights