LED Headband Teaching Electronics to Girls

4 years ago

A kirigami headband with an embedded system that controls LEDs as an immersive and fun way to introduce electronics to girls. An introduction to paper prototyping, basic electronics, code and color theory are discussed during the hands-on module.


Individual paper stars are cut and folded into a 3-dimensional shape and they contain the circuit boards and batteries.


I designed circuit boards similar to the Lilypad and Adafruit's neopixel system. A lithium ion battery plugs into the main board hidden underneath the largest star. A tactile button sits just behind the ear and cycles through various pre-programmed modes. The microcontroller (not pictured) is an ATtiny85.


The lights can be programmed with Arduino software using a pre-existing library. A non-RGB version of this hardware is appropriate for beginners while more advanced students can program RGB lights.


Teaching this class is enormously fun. I had several engineer-fathers that participated in the class and bonded with their daughters over electronics. The girls were no longer intimated by electronics and programming at the end of the module.

the girls modeling their work after class

Hunter Futo

Published 4 years ago