28 April MaKey MaKey


Today we played with MaKey MaKeys. We learned a lot about completing circuits, what conducted electricity and what didn’t, and we had much fun trying our hand at this wonderful “maker” resource! A great big thank you to the Imagination Foundation and SparkFun for providing these for our Imagination Chapter.

Conductors

  • marker tip
  • candy
  • eraser
  • mango
  • banana
  • Salma and Angy
  • whiteboard
  • glass of water
  • a metal bell
  • metal bottle cap
  • playdough
  • kiwi
  • apple slices

Things That Didn’t Conduct

  • pencil
  • popsicle stick
  • book
  • plastic bottle cap

The word “MaKey” was coined because it is a combination of Make and Key. This simple device helps turn anything that can conduct electricity into a computer key. In our chapter meeting,  we had four computers for 11 students. We had fun going around to the various computers trying different combinations. We started out just trying the CLICK key. One computer was clicking on different emoticons. One computer was playing soccer on a computer without Internet, but some educational games in Linux. One computer was busy testing nearly every physical item in the room to see if it clicked.

Later we added the space bar, so we could play the Chrome “T-Rex jumping saguaros” game on the computer without Internet. To another MaKey MaKey, we added left and right arrows so we could play the Bubble Game without the regular keyboard. This was a delightful group effort complete with discussion and using the whiteboard to predict the geometry needed to hit the correct bubbles.

We all learned together today, as the only thing I (the teacher) had mastered is where to plug it in and how to connect a circuit with two people. My demo was just to play a piano key by high-fiving the other teacher. After that, we watched the “Invention Kit for Everyone” video. Then we got excited to explore! It was a great meeting.

MaKey MaKey Resources  

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