We wanted to celebrate women in STEM by publicly sharing their contributions to code repositories. We created awareables, API connected art visualizations on t-shirts, to publicly share this cause for greater social awareness. We thought that elevating women in STEM to rockstar status would garner appropriate respect and interest more people in learning more about or pursuing STEM. We also thought that the sale of the t-shirt as a kit for education would interest more individuals in STEM.
What it does
When a woman contributes to a code repository, awareables updates a live visualization with that contribution. Adafruit.io is used to listen to the GitHub API, and when contributions occur, it connects to an Adafruit FLORA using a Bluefruit module. The Adafruit FLORA updates the neopixels with the visualization to reflect the contributions.
The color indicates the day of the week, and the speed indicates how active GitHub contributions are.
How we built it
Awareables is built using neopixels soldered together, then sewed into a circuit with the Adafruit FLORA. A Bluefruit module provides bluetooth connectivity through a cell phone to reach Adafriut.io, through with the GitHub API data is obtained.
Challenges we ran into
We put the awareable tree together four times. Four times! We ran into shorts and crimps with sewing the circuit, and we wanted to make it a bit sturdier with soldering. We soldered a short strip that worked fine. We soldered the whole thing and shorted it. A friendly hacker explained it would have been easier to have done the soldering from the back of the components, and we should desolder to stop the shorts. So we learned the fine art of desoldering. And then resoldering all of the parts again. And it worked!!!!! Side bonus: we got pretty good at soldering after doing it for hours.
We were not able to successfully get the Bluefruit working. The bluetooth module would appear for connection, then disappear when attempting to connect. We direct-loaded the data to the Adafruit FLORA as a bypass.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
It works! Plus the pretty good soldering piece.
What we learned
A ton more about soldering. Always solder from the back. Say sorry and thank you a little bit less (aka you don't need to apologize for your existence). :)
What's next for Awareable t-shirt: Women in STEM git coding
Awaring it all over Technica of course!