Both students and teachers find the idea of electronic wearables intimidating, but by starting at square one and using a glue gun to glue down components, it is possible to make a light-up felt wearable that can then be sewn onto another clothing item in under ten minutes. This light-up felt smiley face uses conductive thread,  a coin cell battery holder, and two LED’s to easily light up a smiley face. To get into the wearable concept and to experience immediate success, students can use a hot glue gun at this stage to glue down the LED’s and conductive thread. The result is surprisingly stronger, more durable, and less fickle than similar paper circuit projects using copper tape.

In this project at Senn High school, students first learned to sew with regular needle and thread before using the glue gun with conductive thread to light up their designs. 80 / 85 students completed a functioning wearable, and we had 100% student engagement the day before the winter holiday break!