Essential question: How are electronics viable additions to “crafting” for today’s young person?

Wow, I never thought of anything like this as crafting. I always thought about sewing, scrapbooking, rock hounding and carving, and making wood projects as crafting, this is a whole new level.

I have a hard time putting this into the classroom beyond a maker’s space, but I can see lots of uses for kids. Watching the Adafruit videos on wearable flora, the first thing that came to mind was the Wearable Art Show in Sitka where high school students create wearable art out of all kinds of things. This would be the ultimate item to use for that. It would require them to be creative and industrious. Back to the classroom, I don’t know, I don’t see it.

Andrew Terranova (2014) has a great article about Becky Stern wearable’s, they all look cool, but where is the education application? This is really cool stuff but how can I use it in class beyond art or a makerspace type environment? Ok, so I read some more and found some good ideas for science fair projects, I forgot about that aspect. Using the wearable flora, students could create GPS tractable cat collars and map where cats go, or track birds, or frogs, or any animal to see what the habits are.   Jaseem Vp lists ten science fair projects that are all great ideas using electronic crafting.

If you Google images of electronic crafts there are numerous items kids could make. I just can’t get excited about this. I don’t see it as a “thing” that would happen where I live simply because of cost. These are great Ideas, don’t get me wrong, I just don’t see it as anything I could use now.

References:

Terranova, A. (July 15, 2014). Make: 10 Fabulous and Fashionable Wearable Projects From Becky Stern. Retrieved from http://makezine.com/2014/07/15/10-fabulous-and-fashionable-wearable-projects-from-becky-stern/

Vp, J. (2013). Top 10 Science Fair Electronics Projects for School. Retrieved from http://www.circuitsgallery.com/2013/01/top10-science-fair-projects.html

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10 comments

  1. tmerculief · July 22, 2015

    John- I can see the paper and pen being put in a classroom. I was thinking students can draw a map and then get the places they are from to light up. I think that would be cool! I wasn’t sure about the wearable art as well where that would fit in the classroom. Maybe culture if students found some items they can create from a culture. Maybe can fit. I don’t see using this much in the classroom.

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    • jnyboy1131 · July 25, 2015

      I like the map idea a lot! I think it would be neat to have a map in the class and the kids be able to say I am from here! I like it for science fairs, art shows, but in the classroom I have a hard time getting excited about this. Thanks for the post!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Kendra wollert · July 22, 2015

    Amen. I’m having trouble too. I actually thing the wearable electronic clothing mostly hideous. I want to wear a ruby on my finger, not some cheap blinking red LED light. That might make me a snob, but this is just not for me. Tattoos are wearable art, and I don’t have a problem with them but they are still not for me. But, all of this is not about me…it’s about what my students can learn from the experience and I think traditional electronics can still suffice and still be interesting.

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    • jnyboy1131 · July 25, 2015

      i am with you! There is enough out there for making circuits that is affordable and viable in the classroom. I have a hard time spending money so my kids can make a blinking card that will go in the trash. There is a lot of good technology for our kids to learn on, and some that is not being used in schools because people don’t know what to do with it. Thanks for the post!

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  3. Scott Roleff · July 22, 2015

    I can see where many of the ideas presented in our resources have relevance in an art class but not necessarily in a calculus classroom. I do see potential in a makerspace or, as you mentioned, as part of a science fair. Adding electronics to “crafting” can mean lots of things. The idea is encourage creative application of basic electronics in projects that build upon student interest. Cost may be the determining factor whether this type of activity is even possible. I have a feeling it would require donations or grant money to make it work.

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    • jnyboy1131 · July 25, 2015

      Thanks for the post! I think it would be hard to use this technology in a calculus class. I feel it is a great part of something bigger to be created by a student. I can’t see it being used in art just because, the cost is too high. I agree that there would have to be some outside help, and I know for me that won’t come from the parents. I don’t want to sound like a poop head and that I don’t care if my kids create or or not, but in reality, its not free, the school will not buy it, so it will have to wait for a better time and place.

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  4. janeblasingame · July 23, 2015

    I had a hard time too coming up with ideas for young students. Science projects are a great idea. The cost also is prohibitive. Materials don’t cost a lot until you multiple it times 25 students and multiple projects. I do like to idea of the conductive pen. I would like to learn more about that.

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    • jnyboy1131 · July 25, 2015

      The pen idea is pretty cool. I like that as well, I wonder how long it will last (how many projects). I like the science fair avenue, art shows, even maybe a crafting project in class, but I can’t buy this for 30 kids, after I have to buy all the other school supplies. I would like to try it for me, thats about it for now. Thanks for the post!

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  5. Tristan Leiter · July 23, 2015

    I think it would be great to apply to science fair projects, I didn’t think of that, but it seems like it would help a lot with kids who cannot come up with an idea for weeks and then boom they are behind. I watched a movie that talked about coding and programming with wearable technology, and it could be another element added to Home Ec. if your school had that. I could also see it being used in science to show electricity to kids, I know they can do that with batteries and have lights light up, but if you could transfer that to a piece of clothing or a bike etc. they might get way more into it, at least I know the kids at my school would. I think it’s just another fun idea that can be incorporated into the classroom, another idea to add to our list, I’m not a crafty person by any means, but I thought this was super cool.

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    • jnyboy1131 · July 25, 2015

      Great point! Thanks for the input. I can see the use in a science fair type setting, or even an art show, but for use in the classroom, its not for me.

      Like

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