December 09, 2015

The latest in fashion design: Wearable electronics

As technology continues to evolve, innovation and creativity are keys to succeeding in the design and engineering fields. In the new wearable electronics course, launched this fall at the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, California, students learn about circuitry and the engineering design process, while also being introduced to the world of fashion.  

Offered to seventh- through 12th-grade students and led by instructor Melisa San Agustin, the objective is for students to work hands-on with circuitry in order to create their own project. They use motor skills to tinker with buzzers, light bulbs, alligator clips and much more. Paracord bracelets are used for more than just camping and outdoor activities; the students use their innovative engineering skills to create an illuminating wearable electronic. The students get to be creative in the process, as they work on designing their individual paracord bracelet. Using simple materials, such as conductive thread and a sewing needle, students create a unique and innovative final product.

Four Tiger Woods Learning Center students show their paracord bracelets

Ms. San Agustin loves the lifelong lessons this course teaches.

“This class is so helpful in learning how to work with others,” she said. “This is an individual project, but the students have to be able to ask for help from myself or their peers. That seeps over into high school — seeking help and collaborating is so important to doing well. Also, the process — engineering, concept, prototype testing and analyzing — is a series of steps we also do outside of the classroom. In real life, you have to test and re-do sometimes.”  

During the six-week course, students participate in a variety of engineering activities to expand their knowledge of circuitry. In addition to creating a wearable electronic, students light up their imagination by tinkering with conductive tape and use their circuitry skills to create brightly lit cards. 

A drawing of Harry Potter

So, it’s not just about making a fashion statement. This class is preparing young scholars to be innovators by exposing them to the creative principles of engineering. As they venture through these projects and their education, our hope is to keep them thinking outside the box. 

Learn more about the Tiger Woods Learning Center curriculum.

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