High Tech Fashion

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In this technology activity, learners build simple circuits, design soft circuits using conductive thread, and then sew switch-activated circuits. Learner make a wearable fashion accessory, like a bracelet, with LEDs that light up.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
2 to 4 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
Over $20 per student

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per student)

  • paper and pencil
  • 1 piece of felt
  • 1 sewing needle
  • conductive thread
  • 2 or 3 LEDs, 1.9V - 2.4V/20 mA - 40 mA
  • 1 metal snap or magnetic purse snap
  • 1 CR2032 coin cell battery (e.g. 3 V watch battery)
  • 1 CR2032 battery holder
  • ruler
  • scissors
  • fabric pen or chalk
  • needle-nose pliers
  • wire with alligator clips or wire stripper
  • permanent black and red markers or nail polish
  • needle threader (optional)
  • regular thread (optional)
  • decorative fabric (optional)
  • lace (optional)
  • beads (optional)


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Electrical Engineering
      • Metallurgy and Materials Engineering
    • Technology
  • Physical Sciences
    • Electricity and Magnetism
      • Electric Charges and Currents
      • Electric Circuits
    • Energy
    • Vibration and Waves
      • Light and Optics
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Elements and Periodic Table
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Research and Development
      • Invention and Innovation
      • Problem Solving
      • Troubleshooting and Maintenance

Informal Categories

  • Arts and Crafts
  • Electronics


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Links STEM to other topics of interest such as arts and humanities
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities

Culture, ethnicity, and gender

  • Girls

    • Explicity developed for this group
    • Acknowledges this group's contributions to STEM
    • Highlights STEM opportunities for this group
    • Identifies role models or mentors in STEM fields from this group
    • Uses inclusive images of people from this group


Components that are part of this resource:

Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All rights reserved, Twin Cities Public Television, Inc., 2010

Funding Sources:

  • National Science Foundation, 0813519
  • ExxonMobil