Local Girl Scouts Visit UMass Amherst Jan. 31 to Learn to Build Wearable, Electronic Light-up Jewelry



DATE:  Saturday, Jan. 31,2015

TIME:   9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

PLACE: M5 laboratory, Marcus Hall


The College of Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is hosting a workshop for local Girl Scouts where girls will learn to design, engineer and build wearable, electronic, programmable, light-up jewelry.

The workshop, called the “Girl Scout Adafruit Workshop” after the miniature electronic components that will be used, seeks to interest girls in the basics of engineering. The girls will be using two technologies: Adafruit Gemma, a miniature, wearable, electronics platform circuit board and NeoPixel rings, which consists of 16 LEDs in a ring that can be programmed to make any color by mixing red, green, and blue light.  

This event is especially designed for high school and middle school Girl Scouts and is open to all skill levels. In the process of creating their own computerized jewelry, the scouts will also learn about engineering as a career and get a chance to meet young women working toward their bachelor’s degrees in a variety of engineering disciplines.

“Our main goal is to attract the girls to engineering by making sure they have a lot of fun learning about it,” says Paula Rees, director of the Diversity Programs Office at the College of Engineering, host of the event. “The focus of the day is to learn the basics of soldering and programming while making a really cool project to take home to keep or give away as a gift. Most girls will be making necklaces that they can program to light up in different colors and patterns. A few girls will each use the same technology but instead make a pair of earrings.”