Creative, Engaging, and Playful Making-Activities with Smartphones and Embroidery Machines

ACM Reference Format: Spieler, B. and Krnjic, V. (2021) Creative, Engaging, and Playful Making-Activities with Smartphones and Embroidery Machines. In FabLearn Europe / MakeEd 2021 – An International Conference on Computing, Design and Making in Education (FabLearn Europe / MakeEd 2021), June 2–3, 2021, St. Gallen, Switzerland. ACM, New York, NY, USA, 6 pages.

BERNADETTE SPIELER, Zurich University of Teacher Education, Switzerland
VESNA KRNJIC, Graz University of Technology, Austria

Abstract: Smartphones have become the predominant way many students interact online, and mobile apps offer an ideal way to engage this audience. The Catrobat apps are used in this area, particularly for creating apps and thus teaching basic programming skills.
During the “Code’n’Stitch” project, the apps have been extended with the creation of patterns, geometric, and artistic textile designs, as well as the programming of traditional embroidery machines. In this way, students not only learn programming,
but they can also show the results of their code in a tangible way, embroidered on their shirts or bags. To take the idea of “Making” further, a combination with a sewing machine is possible: Fabrics can first be embroidered with programmed designs and then sewn into “cherry pit pillows”. This idea was successfully integrated for the “Maker Days for Kids” event at Graz University of Technology in 2019 and 2020.

CCS Concepts: • Applied computing → Interactive learning environments; • Social and professional topics → Gender.
Additional Key Words and Phrases: creative coding, programming, mobile programming, gender, digital designs