Sunday, December 19, 2010
"Tote your Thinkpad and port your Apple in style with a custom TRON-inspired laptop bag tutorial. With a little soldering and sewing skills you can have your own light up satchel, sure to impress geeky friends." Go to http://ladyada.net/make/tronbag/ for a detailed tutorial by collaborators ladyada and Becky Stern on how to make your own el wire bag from an old laptop bag.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
From Leah: A cheaper battery holder option for LilyPad Arduino projects. Holds 2 3volt coin cell batteries. Won't last as long as the AAA or LiPo batteries, but a good option for smaller projects where space/cost is an issue...
|A conductive tape star is born!|
|Gotta love buttons!|
The panel and workshop was led by Ann-Marie Horcher from Nova Southeastern University, and myself which included a presentation on the importance of e-Textiles within the computing community ... then the fun began ... circuit building in a wide array of personal objects. The workshop ran smoothly with everyone helping out, talking about designs, how to complete the circuit in their project and everyone left with a working circuit. A fantastic workshop for a celebration of fascinating women!!
Friday, December 10, 2010
|Modkit uses a Scratch like interface|
|The immediate feedback was a huge hit!|
After playing with the Modkit for several days, the youth planned out the designs for their LilyPad projects. Projects included a series of LEDs in a hat that would light in a rotating manner, a backpack that would light and play music when the backpack was worn, a purse with blinking & solid lit LEDs, another purse with rotating LEDs on a flower design and another purse that used the temperature sensor to change the lights behavior.
|Solid and Flashing LEDs!|
|Warm = Flashing LEDs|
|Cold = Solid LEDs|
This fall semester saw some new projects completed at the Boys and Girls Club in Bloomington due to a new group of club members. Every Monday and Wednesday the youth attended the e-Textile Club to work on projects. The biggest hit of the season were the Halloween buckets and bags! Youths first designed parallel circuits on paper, then using traditional LEDs to sew circuits using curled LEDs typically for the eyes. (Many are excellent LED curlers now : -)
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Additionally, Sewing School shows a number of simple projects that could be made and are being made by youth. One of the strongest components of the book are the quotes from the youth, especially if youth will be looking through it for guidance...they'll see how much someone else enjoyed it and feel that they can also complete the project.
This is the look-inside link at amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Sewing-
NSF Celebrates Computer Science Education Week 2010
NSF-funded programs like GLITCH and E-Textiles make it cool to compute and may inspire the next Bill Gates
Credit and Larger Version
View a webcast highlighting two NSF programs that engage students in computer science.
Imagine a jacket that lights up. With directional arrows programmed into the fabric, a bicyclist can use her jacket to alert traffic when she's turning. The jacket is an example of e-textiles, a techology that is drawing more girls to computer science through an innovative program at MIT. Meanwhile at Georgia Tech, high school students are hired to test and debug computer games, a way of bringing diverse students to computer science.
These inspired programs are unfortunately not typical. American information technology and software companies dominate the world marketplace, yet there is a gaping hole in formal computer science education. For K-12 students, computer science education is practically nonexistent. The United States lacks an adequate pipeline to feed world class computer science at the university level with the number and diversity of students needed to address societal challenges.
To recognize the critical role of computing and computer science education in the 21st century, Congress declared Dec. 5-11, 2010, as Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek).
In a Dec. 7 webcast, the National Science Foundation (NSF) highlighted two NSF-funded programs that aim to fill this gap and engage populations of students not typically drawn to computer science.
Amy Bruckman of Georgia Tech, along with Ph.D. candidate Betsy DiSilvo and former student James Bowland-Gleason, describes GLITCH, the Georgia Tech program that uses video games as a way for the high school students to "break open" the games and look at them as a piece of technology.
Leah Buechley and Emily Lovell of MIT's Media Lab report on their success at the forefront of teaching information technologies to the next generation of female computer scientists. They discuss how their High-Low Tech research group explores the integration of high and low technology from cultural, material, and practical perspectives to engage diverse groups of people in developing their own technologies. E-Textiles at MIT, for example, has captured the imagination and honed the computational skills of girls.
CSEdWeek representative Cameron Wilson of the Association for Computer Machinery provides perspective on why this week is important to his industry and to America's competitive edge. Other countries have stepped up their efforts with computer science education, and several countries, including Canada, Israel, New Zealand, Australia and some Asian countries have implemented a comprehensive computer science curriculum.
The notion that only future computer scientists or information technology (IT) professionals need training in computer science is no longer true. Outside of the IT industry, knowledge of computer science and computer programming is becoming a necessary skill for many professions, including those in science and technology, as well as careers in marketing, advertising, journalism and the creative arts.
For full posting see: http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=118192&org=NSF&preview=false
Friday, December 3, 2010
|Matisse, the BGC Art Director, and myself display the quilt|
I wanted to add a special thanks to Kara, our lab assistant, who really came through in getting the quilt to this point so quickly for the art show. Also thanks to our summer workshop circuit team: Aviyona, Clay, Ethan, Gabriel, Griffin, Justin, Lennon, Luca, Makayla, Melisha, Phoebe, Rakia, Ron, Sage, Samari and Stephanie for making their first sewn circuits so beautifully!
Monday, November 15, 2010
Here are scissors, Lilypads, alligator clips, fashion paint, velcro strips, a mini iron, USB drives, conductive thread, and tape all throw together in one bag. And what do we do with the LEDs?
Sunday, November 14, 2010
This week Nintendo released it's newest installment of the Kirby series, Kirby's Epic Yarn. What piqued my interest about the game is its use of arts & crafts as an aesthetic motif - everything looks like it's made of string, buttons, yarn and zippers. The aesthetic is supplemented by some clever looking game mechanics, which add to the sense of materiality and texture introduced by the game's environments and imagery. For instance, backgrounds contain loose threads that can be pulled, and things made of yarn (including Kirby himself) can change shape. I should add in a disclaimer at this point that this description is based on a cursory review of the demo videos (such as the one I've posted below) and early reviews - I haven't actually played it yet:
- Kirby Epic Yarn Plush on Instructables
- LittleBigPlanet Sackboy Knit Pattern
- AP's list of Video Game themed Crochet & Knit Patterns
- Gaming's Non-Digital Predecessors, by Laurie N. Taylor and Cathlena Martin, University of Florida (International Digital Media & Arts Association Journal, v.1, no.3, SPring 2005, pp.25-9)
Sunday, November 7, 2010
By Tirdad Derakhshani
Inquirer Staff Writer
Sedaris' 304-page tome, which she cowrote with Paul Dinello, is a copiously illustrated, funny, tongue-in-cheek idea book for making some of the most out-of-this-world, creepy - albeit cute - handmade home knickknacks in recent memory.
But she wasn't always known as the busy homemaker's patron saint.
A comedian, film star, author, and sister of humorist David Sedaris (a terrific career achievement), she is best known as the creator and star of Comedy Central's surreal comedy of ill manners, Strangers With Candy.
In 2006, she rocked and shocked the best-seller list with I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence, a 304-page (whoa!), post-Martha Stewart guide to throwing the baddest (you know, that's baaad as in cool) parties.
Her crafting book, which she will discuss Friday night at the Free Library, includes such simple-to-make, affordable items as the "unable to make ends meet belt" (rolled plastic wrap); "poor man's toffee" (heated and futher-condensed condensed milk); "tampon ghosts" (just add wings); the Dropout Crab Claw Roach Clip (a roach clip stuck to the non-pincer side of a claw saved from dinner); and an entire series of "Crafting for Jesus" crafts, including Moses' Comb Holder, Jesus Sandals, a matchbook cross, and a clothespin Jesus.
Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/entertainment/20101105_Amy_Sedaris_offers_a_how-to_book_with_a_wacky_twist.html#ixzz14dZ3lVcT
Watch sports videos you won't find anywhere else
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
In mid-September the team at University of Pennsylvania led a workshop for CLOs (chief learning officers) where they sewed several lights on a pre-programmed Lilypad. Our goal was for them to have a hat with blinking lights by the end of the 2.5 hour workshop, expose them to ways to change the programming, and have them reflect on their learning. Nothing like being taken out of your comfort zone with sewing, making circuits, and learning basic programming to reflect on one’s learning!
In a massive sewing morning, we pre-sewed swatches with power supplies and switches connected to a Lilypad. We shall not divulge how often we poked ourselves in the process.) There were 29 participants - Below was the result with all of our lovely sewing lined up neatly.
The participants then worked to sew on up to five lights. They were so excited about creating their projects that they refused to go on their break and some tables started competing with each other to see who could get the most lights sewn on to their Lilypad.
Once swatches were finished the participants velcro’d them to black hats (the hats were too thick to sew the components on directly) and some folks added some decorations to spark them up.
We also showed them how they could re-program order, pace, and number of blinks without changing any of the sewing - the project that keeps on giving. :)
Friday, September 24, 2010
Saturday, September 18, 2010
The do-it-yourself movement revives learning by doing.
IMAGE CREDIT: KIMBERLY WRIGHT/REUTERS/CORBIS
IMAGINE A SCHOOL where kids could do the following: clone jellyfish DNA; build gadgets to measure the electrical impulses of cockroach neurons; make robotic blackjack dealers; design machines that can distinguish between glass, plastic, and aluminum beverage containers and sort them into separate bins; and convert gasoline-burning cars to run on electric power.
No such school exists, but in August I went to Detroit and met the kids who did all these things, and more. They—along with 22,000 other people—had come from all over the United States and Canada to demo their creations at Maker Faire, a two-day festival of do-it-yourselfers, crafters, musicians, urban homesteaders, kit makers, scientists, engineers, and curious visitors who congregated to present projects, give performances, and swap ideas. Having attended eight Maker Faire events since 2006 (they’re put on by the same company that owns the magazine I edit), I’ve become convinced of two things about children and education: (1) making things is a terrific way to learn, and (2) schools are failing to teach kids to learn with their hands
The ideal educational environment for kids, observes Peter Gray, a professor of psychology at Boston College who studies the way children learn, is one that includes “the opportunity to mess around with objects of all sorts, and to try to build things.” Countless experiments have shown that young children are far more interested in objects they can control than in those they cannot control—a behavioral tendency that persists. In her review of research on project-based learning (a hands-on, experience-based approach to education), Diane McGrath, former editor of the Journal of Computer Science Education, reports that project-based students do as well as (and sometimes better than) traditionally educated students on standardized tests, and that they “learn research skills, understand the subject matter at a deeper level than do their traditional counterparts, and are more deeply engaged in their work.” In The Upside of Irrationality, Dan Ariely, a behavioral psychologist at Duke University, recounts his experiments with students about DIY’s effect on well-being and concludes that creating more of the things we use in daily life measurably increases our “feelings of pride and ownership.” In the long run, it also changes for the better our patterns of thinking and learning.
Unfortunately, says Gray, our schools don’t teach kids how to make things, but instead train them to become scholars, “in the narrowest sense of the word, meaning someone who spends their time reading and writing. Of course, most people are not scholars. We survive by doing things.”
So it makes sense that members of the DIY movement see education itself as a field that’s ripe for hands-on improvement. Instead of taking on the dull job of petitioning schools to change their obstinate ways, DIYers are building their own versions of schools, in the form of summer camps, workshops, clubs, and Web sites. Tinkering School in Northern California helps kids build go-karts, watchtowers, and hang gliders (that the kids fly in). Competitions like FIRST Robotics (founded by Segway inventor Dean Kamen) bring children and engineers together to design and build sophisticated robotics. “Unschooler” parents are letting their kids design their own curricula. Hacker spaces like NYC Resistor in Brooklyn and Crash Space in Los Angeles offer shop tools and workshops for making anything from iPad cases to jet packs. Kids in the Young Makers Program (just launched by Maker Media, Disney-Pixar, the Exploratorium, and TechShop) have built a seven-foot animatronic fire-breathing dragon, a stop-motion camera rig, a tool to lift roofing supplies, and new skateboard hardware.
When a kid builds a model rocket, or a kite, or a birdhouse, she not only picks up math, physics, and chemistry along the way, she also develops her creativity, resourcefulness, planning abilities, curiosity, and engagement with the world around her. But since these things can’t be measured on a standardized test, schools no longer focus on them. As our public educational institutions continue down this grim road, they’ll lose value as places of learning. That may seem like a shame, but to the members of the growing DIY schooling movement, it’s an irresistible opportunity to roll up their sleeves.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
By KATE SINGLETON
Published: August 9, 2010
FLORENCE — When Sara Checcucci opened her atelier in Galluzzo, a southern district of Florence bordering the Chianti hillsides, she was astonished by the number of young people who would stop to gaze at her through the window as she worked. Later some of them came in and asked her to teach them her skills. So she arranged a series of evening courses, and was even more surprised when her pupils included young men.
Ms. Checcucci is a tailor who hand-sews 90 percent of the garments she makes. “Cut is everything,” she said, leaning over the cutting out table in her atelier, her scissors poised above a length of cloth mapped with chalk guidelines. “It means knowing how to design the paper model from which the cloth will be cut, and this implies the ability to measure a person not only as regards size, but also stance. The jacket I make for a straight-backed man will not be the same as the one for a person of the same size with sloping shoulders. Only once the cut is perfect can the needle work begin.”
Brought up just outside Florence, Ms. Checcucci knew at an early age that her future would revolve around scissors, needles and thread. She opted for a high school with a specialization in fashion, though this involved five years of rising before dawn and changing buses twice to get there. Next came a degree course at the Polimoda fashion institute in Florence, where she found she was one of the few students eager to focus on the sartorial arts rather than fashion; cut and needlework rather than look.
“I then found a job where I was responsible for a whole collection of clothes every season,” she recalled. “It was hard work, interesting and gratifying. After three years I had saved enough to take time out. I wanted to go back to technique.”
After much searching, Ms. Checcucci found an elderly tailor who agreed to take her on as an unpaid disciple. “He taught me everything I know about detail, and it’s the details that make the difference,” she said “When he retired I felt confident enough to go it alone. In 2008 I found the right space in Galluzzo and opened the Sartoria Corti Montecchi named after my mother and grandmother. That’s when I discovered there are young people anxious to learn the art of fine tailoring.
“The boys are fewer in number, but especially motivated,” she went on. “It’s as though a generation brought up on mass produced garments is suddenly beginning to realize that there’s more to dressing than passively buying clothes off the peg.”
Ms. Checcucci makes clothes to order for men and women from the best Italian fabrics, and re-models existing attire. Three fittings are generally required for a man’s jacket, which takes about a month to make and costs €950, about $1,300, plus the price of the fabric. A woman’s sleeveless dress costs €150 plus fabric and requires one fitting and two weeks for delivery.
One of Ms. Checcucci’s hallmarks is to enhance the individuality of the garment with a little unorthodox detail: the addition to women’s wear of a feature typical of men’s tailoring, for instance, such as a particular stitch or a style of pocket. Attention to such minutiae, along with the principles of hand sewing and creating paper models, is what she hopes to impart to her students in a new series of evening courses she will be running at her atelier from mid-September. Designed for groups of five, the classes consist of five two-hour lessons costing a total of €250.
While it may be too early to call the growing demand for sewing lessons a widespread trend, there are certainly signs of a revival of interest in various forms of needlework in Italy. A telling case is to be found in Milan.
Barbara Zucchi Frua earned a degree in pedagogy before joining the family firm of Zucchi, manufacturers of household linens, located just north of the city. Throughout her 18 years with the company as head of human resources, she sought to expand the workshop experience, where employees, especially those involved in design, were encouraged to look at products from new perspectives, to expand their own horizons.
In the wider world, however, Ms. Zucchi Frua became increasingly aware that people were losing their contact with textiles because they had given up the small skills that provide know-how. She had a spacious ground-floor room in the fashionable canal area of Milan and decided to make something out of it. “What I had in mind was a nexus for exchange to do with fabrics, colors, yarns and sewing,” she said, surrounded by bolts of fabric and a battery of sewing machines in her luminous new workshop.
L’Hub opened in 2009, first with the idea of selling individual, hand-made textile products that people could learn to make on the spot. But the focus was not quite what Ms. Zucchi Frua wanted. “Too much of a shop,” she said, “and too expensive.” What she needed to sell was know-how at reasonable prices.
“When I was reworking the project, a woman came in, looked around and introduced herself. This was Rosanna Pagliarini, who had plenty of hands-on experience with clothes manufacturing and shared many of my ideas about the loss of simple skills. Rosanna came on board as artistic director. She is extraordinarily inventive, making wonderful garments from unusual cloths and producing kits to show others how it’s done.”
With Ms. Pagliarini’s input, L’Hub was soon ready to offer a basic six-hour sewing course using electric machines and a series of kits for making clothes, for €100 a participant. There are also four-hour courses for dyeing, printing and knitting at €50. The center now runs an average of four courses a week for groups with a minimum of five members.
“We’re not a do-it-yourself outfit, though,” Ms. Zucchi Frua hastened to add. “There’s too much ugly D.I.Y. stuff around. What we’re bringing together is a certain look, which the kits express, and the opportunity to learn and experiment. We encourage creativity, which often involves giving new life to old fabrics. We also have a huge collection of engraved wooden blocks used for printing, so we’re an important resource for design students. Another project I hope to get off the ground concerns helping disadvantaged women by giving them skills they can use to support themselves.”
Inquiries have started coming in from other cities — from Trieste to Florence to Palermo. So while Ms. Pagliarini draws up designs for turning linen tablecloths into dresses, Ms. Zucchi Frua is busy working out a format for a L’Hub franchise
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Friday, August 6, 2010
|Slide of the LilyPad POV|
|Finished POV Band|
In addition, due to the Arduino based programming of the LilyPad, a program was written so the youth wouldn’t have to write code. They would only select a 3-5 letter word/name to display, then Alex and/or Ben would program the microprocessor. The result is when the band is waved in a darkened space their word choice would display.
|Mid construction with stickers|
The steps for constructing the POV for the youth followed the same pattern:
1) Use stickers (Lilypad, battery holder, 5 LEDs) to draw the diagram in their journal and have it checked off on.
2) Select a piece of fleece fabric of their color choice, secure it in the hoop, and place stickers on the fabric to reflect the journal diagram.
3) Visit the check station and obtain the LilyPad and battery holder to sew the + and – battery connections first.
4) After the battery connection is tested each LED is obtained at their table.
|2 Superheros in the making|
One common mistake we found was the over generous application of the nail polish to secure the knots. We found if the knots were on the backside of the material there is less chance the LilyPad holes would be varnished with nail polish (which could block a secure connection to the conductive thread)
|One of the post tests|
|Last day preparations|
|Wearables & projects ready for the show!|
Thursday, August 5, 2010
|Does shiny mean conductivity?|
|"Is it conductive?"...the game!|
|Charlene quizzes a player|
|Youth design circuit in journal|
|An original shirt design!|
|Ben at the switch check station|
|A lit rock star|
|Calling Captain Kirk...|
Now onto our fourth and last project…the POV band, a highly anticipated project at the club, that looks like it belongs on a superhero!