This teen's amazing DIY dress is ready to light up prom

She loves fashion and coding. So when prom season came around, she had the perfect idea for a DIY dress.  

Last year, the world was awed by Zac Posen’s light-up Met Gala dress for Claire Danes. Among its fans was 17-year-old Claire Smith, a homeschooled high school senior and budding engineer from Maryland. Smith was inspired by Posen’s dress and decided to try to make her own version.

Starry night! #Zacposen #metgala #glamour @metmuseum @voguemagazine @instagram

A video posted by @zacposen on May 2, 2016 at 4:15pm PDT

Smith started coding two years ago at Girls Who Code‘s Summer Immersion Program, and has since participated in hackathons and worked on her own projects to learn more. When time came for an upcoming home school senior prom, Smith decided to modify a dress she got for free from a community organization called Cinderella’s Closet.

Smith used Adafruit’s Flora—a wearable electronics platform—and combined it with six NeoPixels, which are tiny LEDs that work with Flora. She stitched them onto the dress and connected them using conductive thread. It even features a battery pack stitched into the skirt, which she can use to turn the lights on and off. 

This was the stunning end result:

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The project took Smith just a few days to make. She’s now starting her own club and doing a workshop to teach other girls how use 3D printers. Smith encourages all girls who are interested in science or engineering to pursue it. 

“If you’re thinking of going into computer science, don’t back out because the guys are intimidating, just keep going,” she said.  “It’s an amazing journey to go through.”

WATCH:

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