MaKey-MaKey Making

MaKey-MaKey kits are fun and approachable for anyone over, say, 8 years old.  This is not to say that a seven-year-old with a guiding adult wouldn’t enjoy the kit but, realistically, in a classroom, 8 year-old students would manage. It is very useful to have basic circuit knowledge before beginning experimenting with the kits.

In addition to your MaKey-MaKey kits, you will need to provide a few extra things like Play Doh, fruit (some works better than others and bananas work well), tinfoil, copper wire, and sharp graphite pencils.

MaKey-MaKey is the invention of two MIT students who used social media and kickstarter fundraising to support their research and the marketing of the kits.

We worked through some of the simplest experiments.  We played music with bananas.  Graphic pencil markings helped us play Guitar Hero (a personal favourite). We went “old-school” playing Pacman and Tetris games using the MaKey-MaKey as the controller.

Finally, we began to use the MaKey-MaKey in an experimental sense.  The Hot Wheels Challenge helped us work though how to use the MaKey-MaKey as part of a Distance/Speed/Time data gathering experiment.  Workshop participants worked collaboratively to trouble-shoot connectivity issues and successfully measure some speed variables.

Fun and interesting. Trial and error learning.  We experienced it all when it came to learning about and then using our MaKey-MaKey kits.

My advice: Dive in and learn as you go.  Your students will love it and, although everything will not be perfect, the learning will be truly authentic.IMG_1421

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