Futuristic Fashiontech Takes Centre Stage for National Science Week

The Gold Coast Innovation Hub celebrated National Science week by supporting a week of Fashion Tech workshops on the Gold Coast.

Participants were taken on a crash course in creativity and engineering with the workshops covering basic sewing techniques and an introduction to electronic circuits before inspiring the students to create a washable, light up garment up-cycled from clothing they had brought in from their wardrobe. 

The Stem with Style workshops are the brainchild of Startup Apprentice, a long standing partner organisation to the Gold Coast Innovation hub and experts in delivering youth entrepreneurship education.  Startup Apprentice were the delivery partners for Australia’s first Student Startup Landing Pad in collaboration with the The Gold Coast Innovation Hub and Study Gold Coast and were a foundation partner in the City of Gold Coast’s Mayors Technology Awards.

Founders of Startup Apprentice, Sam Winter and Sharon Hunneybell created the workshops as a way to attract more young people and creatives into the tech and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) space.

“Combining electronics, science and technology into fashion design is an ideal way for teens to have fun, whilst dabbling with STEM disciplines in a creative new format,” said Ms Winter.

The use of technology in fashion is a growing trend across Europe and the United States but has not been widely seen in Australia.  The Stem with Style workshops provide a wonderful introduction to this fun and interactive use of electronics to enhance fashion design and introduce smart sensors into clothing.

“Technology is an enabler of creativity. There are so many ways to apply electronics, programming and engineering skills beyond building websites and apps. STEM with Style will showcase that,” said Ms Hunneybell.

As well as providing participants with basic skills in wearable tech and futuristic fashion, the workshops also aim to raise awareness around sustainable fashion and up-cycling practices.

“We live in such a throw away economy these days… we hope to show young people the benefits and possibilities of upcycling, to live more sustainably and reduce landfill,” said Sam.

Under the Science Week program, two 3-hour workshops were delivered on Saturday the 14th August at the Home of The Arts (HOTA) to 20 young women and men aged between 12 and 16 years from all over the Gold Coast.

These were followed by a full day workshop at Hillcrest Christian College, the Gold Coast Innovation Hub’s partner school under the ACS ICT Gateway to Schools program.

Additional workshops and wearable electronics kits will be available soon for anyone that missed out or for schools interested in bringing Fashion Tech into the classroom. See the STEM with Style website for full details.

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