: An Electronic Textiles Unit in Exploring Computer Science, like all other units in ECS, comes with an extensive curriculum guide to support teachers as they prep and implement lessons.

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The curriculum guide, available for download as part of our .zip package, outlines all lesson plans and project activities with detailed information on:

  • How computational concepts and practices are introduced through making e-textile projects.
  • How students can document and reflect on their learning by creating digital portfolios.
  • How the e-textiles unit builds on other units within ECS.
  • How e-textiles as a topic connects to CS standards.

The Electronic Textiles unit consists of four open-ended, hands-on projects requiring students to create artifacts with increasingly challenging computational concepts, use high and low-tech materials hone their crafting and designing skills, and troubleshoot malfunctioning projects. Learn more about these projects below.

The unit also comes with four intermediate-level additional modules: Music, Fading LEDs, Mapping, and NeoPixels. Learn more here!

Paper Circuit 2

Project 1: Paper Circuit

Single circuit project design:

Create a simple paper circuit greeting card that includes one LED. Introduce the concept of aesthetic design and personalization.

Key Concepts & Materials:
  • Simple circuit
  • Understanding polarity
  • Materials: LEDs, copper tape (wire), paper

(1-2 hrs)

Project 2: Wristband

Simple wearable project:

Create a wristband with three LEDs in parallel and a switch that turns on the project when the ends of the wristband are snapped together.

Key Concepts & Materials:
  • Parallel circuit, switch
  • Designing and reading circuit diagrams
  • Three-dimensional project
  • Deconstruction
  • Materials: Conductive thread, LEDs, battery and holder, fabric

(5-6 hrs)

shiny night narrow

Project 3: Collaborative Mural

Collaborative project:

As a class create a mural, with each panel made by two students. Each panel must have five independently programmable LEDs and two switches, allowing for four blinking light patterns.

Key Concepts & Materials:
  • Programming for digital input: Sequences, conditionals, embedded conditionals or Boolean statements
  • Collaborative work & division of labor
  • Materials: Conductive thread, LEDs, fabric, microcontroller

(10 hrs)


Project 4: Human Sensors

Capstone project:
Create a project with two aluminum foil patches that act as a sensor when both are touched by a person. Program four+ lighting patterns based on different sensor readings.
Key Concepts & Materials:
  • Sensor design (handcrafted)
  • Programming for analog input: operators, sensor range, Boolean statements
  • Materials: Conductive aluminum foil, human body, LEDs, microcontroller, fabric

(10-14 hrs)