Electronic Fashion Camp - Day Two

By Jules Strickland    02 Aug 2012

This morning, Mark is introducing us to electrical circuits and showing us how to create electronic schematics. Julie’s going to help the group understand mechanical diagrams by drawing examples on the wall. Both electrical and mechanical diagrams are helpful when planning any kind of project involving electronics. After hearing from both sides, each girl is drawing her very own electrical schematic and mechanical layout as they prepare to build their first LilyPad Arduino project.

paper arduino prototype

The girls are developing an understanding of the concepts around coding in the Arduino IDE. Volunteers, Toni and Amy, are going to walk through the basic setup() and loop() functions necessary to compile the program then go into more advanced concepts like conditional statements and instantiation.

girl typing

Thank you to the University of Texas at Dallas, Emerging Media & Communications Program for the use of their computers for the duration of the camp.

Then comes the interactive part of the day where the girls are able to start programming and lead bending. Girls will seperate into small groups to prepare their resistors and LED’s by delicately curling each lead using pliers. By coding in the Arduino Integrated Development Environment (IDE), coders are able to tell the LilyPad Arduino exactly what to do: blink, fade, or create a Persistence of Vision (POV) message. They are then able to alter the message text by changing the value of the text array. Each purse and bracelet will be truly unique: some are large, some are small; some are curved, some are rectangles.

The girls are also going to begin sewing their purses today. It’s exciting to see the projects come to life!

And what do our campers think about all this? Let’s just say they are hugely enthusiastic. Julie offered up some quick feedback she collected from the ladies attending.

Camper #1: “Awesome! I loved it.” Camper #2: “Good. I like camp. My one problem was that I had to recode it twice.” Camper #3: “It was awesome! Except it was hard!” Camper #4: “It was confusing, but we figured it out. It was great, that we got to put into practice what we learned yesterday.” And the whole table answered, “Yes” in unison!

A huge thanks to the Day Two volunteers: Dia Campbell, Toni Klopfenstein, Amanda Clark, Vanessa Cannal, Will Bengston, Wes Crouch, Mark Hoffman, Letia Blanco, Julie Strickland, Emily Strickland, Amy Pickup, Mary Skinner, Patti McLetchie, Florence Lubinus, Mel Hoshut, and Rocky Gentry