Project #1054

Funding Agency
  • Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST)
  • National Science Foundation
Services provided
  • Formative Evaluation
  • Summative Evaluation
  • Instrument Design
  • Learnability Testing

Smart Clothing, Smart Girls

Wearable technologies, or e-textiles, are a fusion of electronics and fashion. E-textiles incorporate computer and advanced electronic technologies into fashion, allowing clothing to interact with the wearer and with the world. Examples include protective clothing, medical monitoring, luminescent fabric, and even digital data storage woven into fabric.

A partnership between Cornell and the University of Minnesota, Smart Clothing, Smart Girls uses hands-on activities to introduce girls age 10 to 14 to e-textiles and STEM. (An acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.)

Hands-on, collaborative, and relevant real-world activities are known to improve how girls develop STEM identities, build confidence, and become motivated to pursue STEM-related learning and career.

The project introduces relevant STEM topics through four modules focusing on wearable technologies. Topics include material properties (thermal properties and impact protection), circuits and electronics, 2D to 3D visualization, and the engineering design process.

The strategy is to engage underserved groups from urban and rural communities in emerging technologies through informal learning outside of school. Through a national partnership with 4-H and Girls Inc., a total of 200 girls will test the modules over three years. Eight leaders from 4-H and Girls Inc. will also be trained how to deliver the modules.

The project disseminates modules through a website, interactive video clips, and teaching kits that include materials and curriculum.

Edu advises on iterative design research to develop and test four modules.