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  1. E-textiles, which embed circuitry into textile fabrics, blend art and creative expression with engineering, making it a popular choice for STEAM classrooms [6, 12]. Currently, e-textile development relies on tools intended for traditional embedded systems, which utilize printed circuit boards and insulated wires. These tools do not translate well to e-textiles, which utilize fabric and uninsulated conductive thread. This mismatch of tools and materials can lead to an overly complicated development process for novices. In particular, rapid prototyping tools for traditional embedded systems are poorly matched for e-textile prototyping. This paper presents the ThreadBoard, a tool that supports rapid prototypingmore »of e-textile circuits. With rapid prototyping, students can test circuit designs and identify circuitry errors prior to their sewn project. We present the design process used to iteratively create the ThreadBoard’s layout, with the goal of improving its usability for e-textile creators.« less
  2. Today’s STEM classrooms have expanded the domain of computer science education from a basic two-toned terminal screen to now include helpful Integrated Development Environments(IDE) (BlueJ, Eclipse), block-based programming (MIT Scratch, Greenfoot), and even physical computing with embedded systems (Arduino, LEGO Mindstorm). But no matter which environment a student starts programming in, all students will eventually need help in finding and fixing bugs in their code. While the helpful IDE’s have debugger tools built in (breakpoints for pausing your program, ways to view/modify variable values, and "stepping" through code execution), in many of the other programming environments, students are limited tomore »using print statements to try and "see" what is happening inside their program. Most students who learn to write code for Arduino microcontrollers will start within the Arduino IDE, but the official Arduino IDE does not currently provide any debugging tools. Instead, a student would have to move on to a professional IDE such as Atmel Studio or acquire a hardware debugger in order to add breakpoints or view their program’s variables. But each of these options has a steep learning curve, additional costs, and can require complex configurations. Based on research of student debugging practices[3, 7] and our own classroom observations, we have developed an Arduino software library, called Arduino Debugger, which provides some of these debugging tools (ex. breakpoints) while staying within the official Arduino IDE. This work continues a previous library, (redacted), which focused on features specific to e-textiles development boards. The Arduino Debugger library has been modified to support not only e-textile boards (Lilypad, Adafruit Circuit Playground) but most AVR and ARM based Arduino boards.We are also in the process of testing a set of Debugging Code Templates to see how they might increase student adoption of debugging tools.« less
  3. The e-textile landscape has enabled creators to combine textile materiality with electronic capability. However, the tools that e-textile creators use have been adapted from traditional textile or hardware tools. This puts creators at a disadvantage, as e-textile projects present new and unique challenges that currently can only be addressed using a non-specialized toolset. This paper introduces the first iteration of a wearable e-textile debugging tool to assist novice engineers in problem solving e-textile circuitry errors. These errors are often only detected after the project is fully built and are resolved only by disassembling the circuit. Our tool actively monitors themore »continuity of the conductive thread as the user stitches, which enables the user to identify and correct circuitry errors as they create their project.« less
  4. When learning to code a student must learn both to create a program and then how to debug said program. Novices often start with print statements to help trace code execution and isolate logical errors. Eventually, they adopt advance debugger practices such as breakpoints, "stepping" through code execution, and "watching" variables as their values are updated. Unfortunately for students working with Arduino devices, there are no debugger tools built into the Arduino IDE. Instead, a student would have to move onto a professional IDE like Atmel Studio and/or acquire a hardware debugger. Except, these options have a steep learning curvemore »and are not intended for a student who has just started to learn how to write code. I am developing an Arduino software library, called Pin Status, to assist novice programmers with debugging common logic errors and provide features specific to the e-textile microcontroller, Adafruit Circuit Playground Classic.« less
  5. STEAM curriculums are widely implemented in K-12 schools, as part of the effort to promote computational thinking skills. This, together with increased accessibility of electronic components and kits, has opened the door for novices to engage in physical computing projects. Debugging these projects challenges students to learn and apply electrical concepts together with programming skills. Multimeter, the most common tool for measuring electric circuits, is placing a very high bar for novices to use. This paper presents a work in progress toward the development of a low-floor multimeter. The tool is designed to be used by high-school students with nomore »prior electricity knowledge as part of their e-textile curricula. By providing students the opportunity to form a conceptual understanding of voltage and current flow, we hope to scaffold their exploration and debugging process in a meaningful way.« less