Flashy Fashion

Engaging Activities For The “I’m not really into tech” Kids

Maker education is already enthusiastically embraced in many schools by our awesome techy-nerdy kids.  These participants were eagerly gaming at home before we supported their game programming at school, and were eagerly taking robotics camps in the summer before we supported their Arduino projects at school.  In order to reach out to the “I’m not really into tech” kids, Maker education needs to appeal to those kids’ different interests.

Fashion modification has great potential to pull an even wider swath of pop-culture-focused and socially-minded adolescents into Maker education.  In addition to showcasing projects and tools that will pull these kids in, we must also be mindful of supporting the “I’m not really into tech” kids in not feeling left in the dust by their techy-nerdy classmates.  This requires divergent project possibilities so that they aren’t immediately comparing their progress to the progress of the kids who can already program in C++.

Join teacher Lindsey Own to explore the potential of simple, inexpensive electronic textiles to give all kids an opportunity to see their own success in creating something unique and beautiful, designed by and for themselves.

About the Facilitator: 

Lindsey Own has been a classroom science teacher for over 9 years, in a career interspersed with learning sciences curriculum research and state-level science education reform administration. She has been an advocate for project-based learning since the beginning of her career, and has been moving into “Maker”- mindset learning for about the past two years. She began introducing LED simple circuit fashion modification to students in summer 2013 workshops, and will be teaching a formal course through her school’s fine arts program beginning in the fall. Lindsey’s primary concern in bringing wide-open “Maker” education to her school is finding ways to ensure that the “I’m not really into tech” kids don’t feel immediately left in the dust by the kids who want to dive directly into Arduino and physical computing, and can find projects they can connect to personally without triggering established negative self-perceptions in technology ability.