Member #382951

Member Since: November 26, 2012

Country: United States

  • My personal favorite introductory activity is to do a simple circuit with copper tape, LED, and fold over battery on paper (see Jie Qi's work - very simple and quick). Then for a first e-textile activity I have people make a bracelet with 3 LEDs (curl the wires), and a switch made from two snaps.

    Everyone always makes mistakes, but I encourage those as teaching opportunities (literally I'll say, "Hey everyone, look at what __ did. It's great! Because now we know how to fix it...'). My students always seem to learn more when I allow these mistakes. The most common mistake is to connect both the positives and negatives of the LEDs to the battery. However, that eliminates the point of the switch. Instead, connect either the positive or negative to the battery and connect the other line to a snap. (For instance, positives of LEDs to the battery. Negatives of the LEDs to the snap far away from the battery. Negative of the battery to the snap near the battery - see the diagram linked in Lovell's guide below).

    This teaches so many concepts in a very concrete way: polarization, basic conductive sewing, parallel circuits, and a switch.

    Obviously there are more details to how I teach this, and I'm happy to share. The bracelet idea comes from Emily Lovell's soft circuits guide (http://alumni.media.mit.edu/~emme/guide.pdf) and I've adapted my instruction of it.

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