Learning programming through fashion and design: A pilot summer course in wearable computing for middle school students

Winnie W.Y. Lau, Grace Ngai, Stephen C.F. Chan, Joey C.Y. Cheung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


As enrollments in engineering and computer science programs around the world have fallen in recent years, those who wish to see this trend reversed take heart from findings that children are more likely to develop an abiding interest in technology if they are exposed to it at an early age [3, 9]. In line with this research, we now see more summer camps and workshops being offered to middle school students with the objective of teaching programming and computer technology [1, 6, 8, 12]. To offer students a stimulating and interesting environment while teaching computing subjects, the learning tools in these camps usually revolve around robots and graphical programming of animations or games. These tools tend to mainly attract youngsters who like robotics or game design. However, we believe that we can improve the diversity of the student pool by introducing other topics. In this paper, we describe our experience in designing and organizing a programming course that focuses on wearable computing, fashion and design for middle school students. We will show that 1) wearable computing is interesting and inspiring to the students, 2) wearable computing motivates both boys and girls to learn technology and computing, which implies that it may be able to increase the potential computer science population, 3) wearable computing can provide a space for students to exercise their creativity while at the same time, teaching them about technology and programming.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)504-508
Number of pages5
JournalSIGCSE Bulletin Inroads
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2009


  • Gender & diversity
  • outreach & education
  • wearable computing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)


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