Makers World (Wearables Workshop)

San Jacinto Hall - UT Austin July 27, 2018 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

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Natalia Baklitskaya

A Maker’s World: Getting Hands-on with Arduino and Wearables

Natalia Baklitskaya (main presenter) with Bryan Cover

Many of us may already have the skills needed to dive into the maker’s world of embedded electronics but have trouble getting started. In this workshop, we will get hands-on with several projects that have been created using a few platforms available for makers, such as Arduino and Adafruit microcontrollers, in order to get a taste of the making process and the tools involved. We will review more of the available platforms for makers, and perform some of the more advanced steps in the project creating and building process.


Attendees of this workshop should have a very basic coding background and be looking to learn how to get started with Arduino and Wearables.


In groups of 3-4, participants will be guided to:

  • Explore the wiring and composition of the sensory, IoT and wearable projects set up at their desks
  • Modify and upload the opened example programs to the assembled circuits
  • Share ideas with each other of what they would like to build themselves

At the beginning of the workshop, Natalia will welcome the participants to the Maker’s World workshop, a 1-hour session in which they will get to familiarize themselves with some of the microcontrollers used for assembling embedded electronic circuits, as well as platforms used for wearables.

Workshop Schedule

  1. Workshop goals and Introduction to Arduino (15 min)
  2. Part I – A Maker’s World: Arduino Uno (30 min)
  3. Introduction to wearables, Arduino/Adafruit Gemma and NeoPixels (10 min)
  4. Part II – A Maker’s World: Wearables with Arduino/Adafruit Gemma (30 min)
  5. Wrap up and questions (5 min)


In Part I of this workshop, participants will be working with an Arduino Uno. They will be guided to complete a few wiring steps for an assembled project (a light theremin), and to add a few lines of code to program Arduino Uno to get the project working. Reference packet: ‘A Maker’s World: Arduino Uno’.

In Part II of this workshop, participants will be working with an Arduino Gemma. They will be guided to attach this wearable, washable, miniature microcontroller to a tester circuit, and to modify default code to program Arduino Gemma to get the wearable example circuit working. Reference packet: ‘A Maker’s World: Arduino Gemma’.

Natalia will round out the workshop by covering some of the next steps participants can follow to start creating their own projects (list of popular platforms, where to buy, online project communities, workshops and programs where they can volunteer, etc.). Natalia will also share her teaching resources, which participants can use to teach their children or even their own workshops. We will discuss the impact of Arduino and Wearables workshops on STEM education and how these can be used to bridge the gender gap through excitement and early exposure.


By the end of this workshop, participants would have gotten familiar with an Arduino Uno and a wearable platform (Adafruit/Arduino Gemma), and the tools required to get started with their own creations (hardware and software). I also aim to inspire participants to come up with ideas for the next steps they want to take, whether it is making cool projects and/or teaching workshops themselves. This workshop is also a great networking/icebreaker activity. We will encourage participants to mix and mingle with each other, and they will bond as a group as they work through the technical challenges throughout the workshop.


  1. Workshop materials:
  2. Maker’s World workshop listing for IEEE Rising Stars (2 sessions taught):
  3. Maker’s World workshop listing for WIE ILC:
  4. IEEE wearable+connected circuit shirt demo:
  5. GHC hair bow demo:

Speaker Bio

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