Engaging Young and Old Inventors with MakeyMakey: Re-invent the World!

Makey Makey

As artists and makers, we enjoy the process of creating something new from something old or familiar.   The Makey Makey makes this possible.   Makey makey is a USB device for your Mac or PC enabling makers of all ages to experiment with human computer interaction and inventing.   The Makey makey interface enables you to design playful circuits and switches.   Our family just received our device last night and the kids LOVE it!   The following video describes the Makey makey in great detail with example experiments.

On our first evening with the device, we built the following experiences:

  • Tin Foil Target: Using two pieces of tin foil, we created a really simple target.   We connected the “earth/ground” wire to one piece of tin foil.   We connected the other tin foil piece to the space bar trigger.   Using Scratch, we created a simple program that mades cat noise when the user pressed space bar.  We suspended the pieces of tin foil so that they had a slight gap between them.   When the tin foil touches by the boys throwing balls at it, the computer triggers the cat sound.   This was a big hit with the kids.
  • Spoon Piano: Using the online piano on MakeyMakey.com, we constructed a musical experience using 5 spoons.
  • Spoon Drumkit: Using Scratch and spoons, we created a small drum kit. 
  • Play-Doh controlled Minecraft: The kids wanted to use play-doh for one of their creations.   We designed a small controller so that you can move around Minecraft.

We did all of these experiments in 2 or 3 hours of playing.  It was tons of fun for me and the kids.   We’re looking forward to doing more tinkering!  Looking for more project ideas, check out the MakeyMakey website.

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