MaKey MaKey

We have been using Makey Makey for over a year now and our students (and teachers) love it! There are so many possibilities when using Makey Makey!

What is a MaKey MaKey?

A MaKey MaKey is a small circuit board that turns everyday objects (like bananas) into touchpads. That’s where the name comes from, Make-Key. It works by creating electrical circuits.

How does a MaKey MaKey work?

MaKey MaKey is used to connect an apple to a computer for instance. A small amount ofmakey-makey-how-it-works electricity flows from the computer to the apple. To complete the circuit, the person in the needs to hold a ground wire. This ground wire works as a return path for the electricity. For a circuit to work, electricity needs to flow in a circular path, from a power source (when we’re using a MaKey MaKey, our computer is the power source), to an object (in the model the apple is the object), and then back to the power source (it travels through you back to the laptop).

How can you use MaKey MaKey in your classroom?

This is a great tool for combining with computer programming programs such as Scratch. There are endless possibilities with MaKey MaKey such as:

  • Video Game Controller
  • Musical Instruments
  • Room or Floor Controller or Instrument
  • Talking Masks
  • Talking Cities
  • Add to artworks so when touched they make sound
  • Sound Mixers and Sound Boards

Below is a list of websites with many more ideas. A great STEM tool.


TUTORIALS

Written/Printable Tutorial A

Written/Printable Tutorial B


Tips & Tricks

  1. Make sure the alligator clips are clipped with the teeth on the metal hole. Good connection is important.
  2. Allow students to experiment with different things that are conductive – pencil graphite, al foil, play-doh, water etc
  3. Set up a few students who become “Makey Masters,” by coming in 10 minutes outside class or in class before using Makey. Have them problem solve hooking up and website stuff. Masters that can help out students lets you document, talk with kids about their experiences, and problem solve more involved issues.
  4. Use a tray or a bag with all necessary items per Makey set. It will make it easy to manage, stack, and distribute.
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MaKey MaKey – Experimenting with the conductivity of pencil lead
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MaKey MaKey – Setting up our cardboard guitars

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MaKey MaKey – Checking out if we can make fruit sing with Scratch
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MaKey MaKey Can Drums
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MaKey MaKey photo booth
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MaKey MaKey Family Tree – Using Scratch the students coded and set up the MaKey MaKey so that when a student’s photo was touched a recorded message was played by the student in the photo.
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MaKey MaKey Pipe Cleaner Flowers – When each flower was touched a sound was played
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MaKey MaKey Musical Drawings – When students added to the pencil drawings sounds would play.
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MaKey MaKey Cardboard Guitar – Students created a guitar that could be played with guitar games on the computer
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MaKey MaKey Drums
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