LilyPad leaps to get more girls involved in computer science

By Isabel Trumbull

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Computer Science (CS) teacher Mr. Daniel Law hosted two free E-textiles  workshops. They were open to all female students.

The week of Dec. 8 was CS week at Lane, according to the e-mail sent out by Law. In his email he set up a signup sheet for the two workshop days and gave more information on E-textiles.

“E-textiles is a new field of creating wearable computing devices. Using conductive thread and a small computer, called a LilyPad, we can turn clothing into a computer,” Law said.

By linking together LED lights, batteries, speakers, and motors through stitches made with conductive thread, a hat can become a light-up, singing, vibrating cap.

Law, like other CS teachers, tries to nourish stronger interests in CS, especially with girls.

“No doubt, all of you are aware of all the social issues we have in the technology field right now. One of the problems we’re actively trying to correct at Lane is the fact that only 17% of the students in our CS classes this year [are girls],” Law said.

To help combat the social issues in CS here at Lane, Law was awarded a grant to supply materials for these workshops. Its purpose was also to encourage girls to explore possible interests in CS.

“Please forward this on to your female friends who you think would be great Computer Scientists,” Law said.