Leslie Birchis a new media arts and technology specialist who explores soft circuits in combination with hardware and interactive materials. She placed in the NASA Space Apps Challenge (2013) with her ISS Orbit Skirt, a skirt that uses a microcontroller and LED’s to track the orbit of the International Space Station. In 2014 Leslie's creative team, Senti-8, won the NASA Space Apps Challenge (NYC). Another project, FLORAbrella , won the international Adafruit + element14 Design Challenge (Wearable Technology). FLORAbrella employed a combination of LED strips and a color sensor enabling the umbrella to make light patterns that matched the user’s clothing. Leslie's connection to interactive arts and design stems from her background in public television, working as a producer for NJN (New Jersey) and WYBE (Philadelphia). She is also the founder of Human+Nature, a company producing documentaries for nonprofits. Her love of media has led her to various college level teaching roles as well as specific programs for urban youth. During the week you can find her teaching or prototyping new ideas at local hacker/maker spaces Hive76 and The Hacktory. She is a huge Star Wars fan and is a 2014 nominee for Philly Geek AwardsGeek of the Year.
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