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Sewn Circuits

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During this activity, patrons construct a working and wearable circuit. They experiment with a battery, conductive thread, conductive tape and an LED to learn how to connect a circuit, and then design a way for it to work on a wrist cuff, a badge, or any other wearable item. Watch their eyes light up, as they light up the LED on their clothing just by wearing it!

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Related Programming Resources

Add a Tech Twist Required:

Conductive Thread
LEDs
Sewable coin cell battery holders
Coin cell batteries
Hints for uses in your library This is an involved activity, and could be used as part of a program series. Make sure to allow patrons enough time to complete and modify their creations.

SCIENCE AND ART CONNECTIONS
In this activity, you will experiment with building different kinds of circuits using a battery, LED, conductive tape and conductive thread. By testing and manipulating these components, you can develop a more intuitive sense of how electricity flows through a circuit. While you are designing your circuit for functionality, you are also thinking artistically about what you want your item to look like. The colors, lights, lines and shapes in this activity give it an artistic character as well as a scientific one.

CONNECTING OLD AND NEW TECHNOLOGIES
The sewing needle was invented long before the LED, and this activity seeks to utilize both older and newer technologies. Understanding different types of technology can help you think about how they can combine to make something even better. For example, the ancient art of sewing is updated by using thread that conducts electricity.
Related Links Activity Overview (contains links for materials)
High-Low Tech Group at MIT Media Lab:
Sew Electric Project Book
Originating Source Exploratorium
Related Books
[Suggest a book]
Sew Electric by Leah Buechley ,

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Sewn Circuits

Sewn Circuits

During this activity, patrons construct a working and wearable circuit. They experiment with a battery, conductive thread, conductive tape and an LED to learn how to connect a circuit, and then design a way for it to work on a wrist cuff, a badge, or any other wearable item. Watch their eyes light up, as they light up the LED on their clothing just by wearing it!