Fashionable Coding

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Jewelbots teaches girls to code with friendship bracelets. Girls can use their iPhone to code these bracelets to light up different colors or send messages.

The startup holds hackathons in New York and San Francisco for girls to learn such skills.

Malenky Welsh, a 16-year-old recent participant, went to the New York event with her sisters and her mother. Together the family transformed an item of clothing into a fully coded device using a circuit board, LED lights, and a set of instructions.

The project inspired creative thinking beyond this hackathon. Welsh says her next project will be to code clothes that can sense if someone is too close to the wearer.

A 7-year-old and a 12-year old at the event also created a light-up belt and hat, respectively.

Once they completed their coding and sewing, girls showed their projects to a panel of judges, hoping to win prize of an Oculus Rift.

Sara Chipps, co-founder of Jewelbots has been coding since she was 12. “If kids find things they love and you give them the ability to customize it, there’s no stopping them,” she says. Her business partner, Brooke Moreland, worked in fashion, making Jewelbots the perfect combination of their skills.

They currently have a variety of sponsors including Medium, Andreessen Horowitz, Microsoft, and LittleBits. Finally, they will soon launch a Kickstarter campaign so they can bring their hackathons to other cities throughout the country.

Source: Sarah Ashley O’Brien, CNN