Sixth-form students have attended a special wearables technologies workshop at Lancaster University – where they developed their own innovative wearables displays.

The workshop event, presented by AffecTech researchers, was part of an annual STEM day at the University, promoting opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths for young people.

Attendees included sixth-formers from local colleges in the Lancaster region, and from across the UK. The workshop consisted of a hackathon activity involving biosensors and smart actuators so the students could co-design personalised affective interfaces.

The students explored the technologies and were guided by Lancaster University AffecTech researchers Chengcheng Qu and Claudia Dauden to design their own wearables technology displays for representing emotional changes, using temperature sensitive ‘thermochromic’ materials. The students chose a target emotion from various options and used different thermochromic paints, fabrics and papers to craft their unique wearable objects. The students and organisers were delighted with the results, the students producing wonderful displays including badges and wristbands.

Lancaster University AffecTech researcher Chengcheng Qu, pictured right with attendees, said: “It was great to see the students so actively involved in the sessions. Working with wearables technologies proved to be a fun and engaging process.

“We hope to see many of these capable students taking up the opportunities that are available in STEM education, which can in turn develop into rewarding careers in a variety of sectors, including health and wellbeing.”

The interactive sessions involving year 12 students was held at Lancaster University’s Infolab21, home of the University’s School of Computing and Communications.

The workshop was organised as a special outreach event of the AffecTech project, which is a European wide project coordinated at Lancaster University, contributing cutting-edge research into wearable systems for emotional wellbeing. The wearables workshop took place on Wednesday 26th June 2019.

AffecTech

The AffecTech project is an international collaborative network that advances personal health technologies for affective disorders – depression, anxiety and bipolar, and aims to deliver an effective low cost technology platform to help those affected. AffecTech is a project funded by European Union Horizon 2020, Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks.