Thursday, April 20, 2017

Project Idea: Light-Up T-Shirt for Bike Advocacy

 Are you a parent looking for a fun and educational project to do with your kids? Or are you an educator hoping to combine STEM and art into a creative STEAM activity? Look no further -- we’ve prepared a lesson demo on How to Make a Light-Up T-Shirt for Bike Advocacy.

In the video below, ARCK’s executive director Sara Demeter and curriculum developer Lisa Pastore walk through the project step-by-step. 

ARCK's video was included in Education Closet's Arts Integration and STEAM Conference in February.

With this lesson and ARCK's other STEAM projects, students can learn how to live more sustainably and develop advocacy skills. This fits in with our environmental justice-themed curriculum this year and our second curriculum module, Civic Engagement. By biking, we can improve our health and contribute to better, cleaner air. 

Lesson Objectives:
  1. Students will develop skills needed to be an active member of their community and to be an agent of change.
  2. Through research, students will analyze bike statistics to look at inequalities in biking culture.
  3. Students will enhance critical thinking and problem solving skills that they identify and devise a solution supporting their theory and problem-solving skills.
  4. Students will learn to incorporate a simple circuit of e-textile components using conductive thread, LEDs, batteries and battery holders into their design which is all using STEAM components.
  5. Students will practice drawing and painting techniques as they create their t-shirts.

Students can look at these maps to get a better understanding of the problems bikers go through and better understand why this is something they should advocate for. 
Bike Route Map - shows different levels of biking to understanding biking culture in the community.
Map of Bike Accidents - shows students scale of the issue as something that needs attention.

Lesson Plan:
Step 1: Design your t-shirt in pencil on paper and then transfer design to the t-shirt - Pencil is not easy to erase, so on t-shirt it is recommended to use grey chalk.
Step 2: Put cardboard between two layers of the shirt; can also reinforce with rubber bands, then paint the shirt; Example of material: Puff fabric paint (opportunity to incorporate UDL principles).
Step 3: Sew in your circuit; perhaps start with a bookmark to build the sewing skills; have students sew in the battery clip toward the bottom of the shirt or somewhere they can easily access.
Step 4: Turn on the LED light!

Integration in the Classroom:
  1. Used ARCK’s Civic Engagement module.
  2. Can integrate into whatever class is being taught; For example - in a science class for understanding electricity and critical thinking; in a physics class for hands on tactile and experience with circuits; in a history or humanities class for understanding community for raising awareness.

Important Things to Remember:
  1. About circuits: energy is moving from battery to your lightbulb and lightbulb back to your battery; positive and negative sides are separate; when path is closed it is a closed circuit; remember where the materials change they are connected neatly and tightly; if there is a broken piece it will be an open circuit so the electricity will not flow through.
  2. About battery clip: two metal prongs with a hole on them, makes easier to sew with; consider the size of the needle to fit into the prongs.
  3. About LED: purchase washable LED lights; traditional LEDs are not washable.
  4. Positive and negative lines can never touch or cross; going to require two completely separate pieces of thread.

Material Links:

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