On PBS SciGirls High Tech Fashion

Last fall, I had a lot of fun being a mentor for an episode of PBS SciGirls which aired last week. I worked with 11 year old SciGirls Ariella, Hallie, and Sophia to create a super hero princess dress for the Fairytale Fashion launch party. Watch the Episode here.

The girls designed the super hero prince dress and I showed them how to make it. The dress had an EL wire cape controlled by an accelerometer so that the cape lit up in reaction to motion. And the skirt inflated to create a billowing cloud effect which every flying superhero princess needs.

The girls programmed an Arduino microcontroller to make conductive thread embroidered LEDs sparkle on lace. The girls really liked sparkly things. When I was showing them how to program the Arduino to make the LEDs sparkle, they practically pushed me out of the way so that they could program the sparkles themselves. I didn’t even finish explaining how to write the program. The girls just took over.

In between takes, Ariella, Hallie, and Sophia made up a song and dance for everything, the ironing dance, the LED song. It would be interesting to see little girls take over the electronics world with sparkle programs and soldering songs.

The Twin Cities Public Television production crew was one of the nicest I’d ever worked with. The whole crew was really chipper and upbeat which made them great for working with the girls. And I enjoyed drinking the juice boxes that were always on set. Thank you model Jen Kresge, make-up artist Santiago Sibert, and big thanks to Collab for letting us use their space.