I am no expert at soldering, coding or developing, but I know how to plug something in and press a power button.
For those of us who aren’t particularly good at DIY electronics, EL wire is the greatest invention.
The National College Resources Foundation (NCRF), had its 5th annual gala and fundraiser this month, and the non-profit’s Operations and STEAM Director, Veronica Kummerfeldt, asked me to create a lab coat that would light up while she was on stage during the event.
The gala honored community and corporate leaders that make a difference in the lives of students, and it brought in over $100,000 in donations. For the past 19 years NCRF has helped over 400,000 students get into college and given away over $600,000 in scholarships. The non-profit has hosted close to 100 college expos nationally, and secured over $300 million in scholarships and grants.
Veronica wanted this lab coat to simply light up with the push of a button. Since I was her contact through SparkFun and am in no way an engineer, I got some advice from Feldi and she directed me to EL wire. All I had to do was plan out my design, hot glue the wire to the coat, loosely sew it down, and cut the end. It was incredibly simple and I definitely plan to use it again. I used SparkFun's EL Wire and EL Inverter to make the lab coat.
“I think I wowed the audience with my custom SparkFun lab coat," Veronica said. "This evening was full of fun and exciting energy as we introduced the STEAM team to over 300 participants. We will continue to expand the vision of each student as we introduce our STEAM/STEM initiative and bring our vintage Airstream STEAM mobile to campuses across the Los Angeles area, providing a fundamental introduction to coding, electricity, solar energy, aviation, the arts and more….”
For more information about the NCRF and their outreach programs to get kids interested in STEM careers, you can visit their site here.