On May 16, two days before the Bay Area Maker Faire, Sophia Bender and Christian McKay from the IU Creativity Labs presented two hands-on projects to educators who attended the Educator Meetup at Maker Faire’s Education Day.
Sophia ran an e-textile table, where educators learned about the educational potential of e-textile materials, sewed their own soft circuits, and saw a demonstration of a program for the LilyPad Arduino ProtoSnap Board. Educators used conductive thread to sew an LED and a switch into a square of fabric, and then lit up the room!
The e-textile station was busy all afternoon, with at least 15 educators sewing circuits, and many others stopping by to observe and chat. Sometimes they would ask for advice about running e-textile activities for youth, some told Sophia about plans to use e-textiles in their classrooms or after-school clubs, and one teacher remarked, “The LilyPad is the Arduino for pretty things! Arduinos don’t have to be only for those ugly robots!”