In December 2015 Paul and Julie Boyd ran an exciting two day e-textiles workshop at The STEM Centre
in York using Kitronik’s Electro Fashion
e-textiles resources, including the Igloo, PICAXE wearable module
The first day began with delegates looking at the wide range of products that are in the shops that use e-textiles and quickly progressed into how this type of technology can be incorporated into students work in the classroom.
Delegates learnt how to use a variety of Electro Fashion components including power boards, switches, and LEDs. They created a range of different circuits giving them lots of ready made resources to take back into their classrooms. Julie & Paul also gave lots of tips and strategies for using e-textiles in the classroom with students.
The course assumed no knowledge of e-textiles but was also differentiated so that delegates with some experience of e-textiles could choose to do more advanced versions of some of the sample circuits being completed.
Delegates were also encouraged to play with the components and to develop their own ideas and lots of time was given for delegates to work independently, using both some suggested starting points as well as ideas of their own. There were also a range of project ideas for delegates to look at as well as time for delegates to make some up in order to test their suitability for back in school.
Coles Sewing Centre in Nottingham sponsored the event with a range of Husqvarna Viking sewing machines giving delegates the bonus of being able to experiment with conductive thread on the sewing machine, as well as being able to completely finish any machine based products they made.
Much of the second day was spent learning how to use the Igloo, PICAXE wearable module
. Delegates had no prior knowledge of programming, so many were nervous of being out of their comfort zone, but a set of step by step guidelines produced by Paul helped everyone work at their own pace. Everyone fed back how easy it was to programme the Igloo and everyone was surprised at how quickly they were able to create complex circuits.
Throughout the 2 days delegates were given lots of Electro Fashion
components to use and they also took a pack of components home to allow them to continue to experiment with their ideas. Delegates also took away a pack of resources including worksheets and PowerPoints all ready to use back in the classroom.
One of the things that made the course so amazing as it was all free for delegates from state funded schools. All they had to do when applying for the course was to also apply for an Enthuse Bursary (a simple form saying why they wanted to attend the course) as well as completing an evaluation at the end of the 2 days.
This course runs again on June 10th and 11th at The STEM Centre. To see information on this course along with other e-textiles courses visit the courses page on Julie Boyd’s website.
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