Exciting eTextiles!

The term started with the girls researching the history and difference between eTextiles and wearable technology. They spent some time learning simple sewing stitches, running stitch and cross stitch. Together we discovered the possibilities of Loomia and how such textile can be used to benefit and enhance manufacturing of eTextile garments.

They girls made a wristband using an LED with conductive tape and a press-stud to complete the circuit for the LED to light up.

The girls were introduced to EL wire (Electroluminescent Wire) and how it is suitable for clothing as it doesn’t heat, the girls used their sewing skills to decorate something of their choice.

Next it was time to set the task of creating an item which could be worn at night when out with friends which would be programmed using Morse code to flash to let friends know if they needed assistance or were safe. The girls discussed how to prepare for an evening out and how to stay safe. The girls researched the history of Morse Code and how to use dots and dash to write messages using this translator to help.

Now it was time for the girls to be introduced to the Gemma Board, a miniature wearable electronic platform, which can be programmed with Arduino to flash neo pixels.

The girls designed a fashion piece using felt or cotton material to sew, using conductive thread, to incorporate the Gemma Board with LED’s to give friends the signal they had coded into the Gemma Board.

The items were creative and were either a brooch, bag tag, headband or stuffed toy to carry!

Short video of the progression of the unit.


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Jackie Child
Jackie Child has been teaching primary aged students for 40 years in a number of countries. She is passionate about how children learn through constructivist pedagogy. She is a Teacher Librarian at St Aidan’s Anglican Girls’ School and a sessional tutor at Griffith University for pre-service teachers. Jackie doesn’t believe in standing still, there is always plenty to ‘do’ and learn!