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.
- Students will develop skills needed to be an active member of their community and to be an agent of change.
- Through research, students will analyze bike statistics to look at inequalities in biking culture.
- Students will enhance critical thinking and problem solving skills that they identify and devise a solution supporting their theory and problem-solving skills.
- 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.
- 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.
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:
- Used ARCK’s Civic Engagement module.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- About LED: purchase washable LED lights; traditional LEDs are not washable.
- Positive and negative lines can never touch or cross; going to require two completely separate pieces of thread.