LEDs, wires, coin-cell batteries and switches are all electronic components that can be tinkered with in many different ways. There's no better way to get introduced to these materials than creating beautiful wearable objects.
After building these simple circuits we hope you’ll be inspired to turn more complex ideas into revolutionary wearable art. Test out different types of circuits, design your own personalized piece, and show off your tinkering to the world around you.
What are the qualities we value in this activity?
Science and Art Connections
As you build your own wearable circuits, you will be learning about how to make and fix basic circuits. In addition to playing around with scientific content, you will also be able to explore your creative side by making aesthetically pleasing pieces of jewelry.
Connection to the Real World
This activity will help you understand the basic principle of how electricity flows through a circuit. This knowledge can help you in daily life, where you use items—such as cell phones, music players, and computers—that use circuits. Maybe you’ll even be able to fix a broken one someday!
STEM as a means, not an end
While this activity will certainly increase your knowledge and understanding of science and technology, especially related to circuits. By building a personally meaningful objects you develop your own relationship with the materials and technologies. Figuring out how to make circuits do what you want aesthetically allows you to gain competency and creatively think about electrical engineering.
You have a chance to manipulate materials using simple tools that make the job much easier. You’ll practice using wire strippers to remove the plastic coating from the tips of the telephone wires. You’ll also improve your pliers skills as you bend the metal on the LED.
Playful and Inventive
Electricity is often discussed in serious terms: power failures, electrocution, etc. But as long as you are being safe, electricity can also be delightful and beautiful. This activity will help you better understand how it flows through a circuit, and allow you to safely play with light while creating something fun.
Using a simple circuit construction with a binder clip and a small piece of foam you can add light-up capability to all sorts of accessories like hair clips, pins, or bracelets. Add colorful beads and wires for decoration and model the latest in technological fashion. Circuit Necklaces are another way to turn these electronic components into personally meaningful creations. You can improve your tool skills and manipulate inspiring new and recycled materials—such as colorful old telephone wires, a watch battery, and a bright LED—into a functional and fashionable wearable piece of art.
We are passionate about sharing our work and developing a community of people interested in these activities, practices, and ideas. The guides below are free to download and use to help you get started with tinkering, whether it's at home, or in your school or educational institution.