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Favorite Makey Makey Projects for Back to School!

September 21, 2022

If your students are new to Makey Makey, it is a fun and extremely accessible tool for all ages. 

This wacky invention kit was created by two MIT students with a passion for hacking keyboards and playing musical fruit. 

Bananas became a permanent part of Makey Makey's signature at Maker Faire 2012 when Jay came up with an idea for signage that spelled out "Makey Makey" using bananas and keyboards duct taped to a fence. 

Over the years, we've found that students find it very approachable and accessible. In fact, we still love seeing the smiles when inventors play their first banana piano! For this post, we wanted to share some other favorite projects that you can try after creating musical fruit!

What is Conductive?

Makey Makey works by alligator clipping into everyday things that have some conductivity. When you hook an alligator clip into a banana and you hold an alligator clip connected to EARTH, you are actually the conductive stuff that closes the circuit and makes Makey Makey work! But what materials can we use with Makey Makey besides bananas? What does it mean for an item to be conductive? or an insulator? or even a resistor? This is the perfect experiment to uncover the answers!

 

Build the experiment and use our new "Is it Conductive?" app to test items! 

   

Link: Is it Conductive?

 

pdf icon- click to download teaching guide

Want to teach this project with your students? 

Download this free teaching guide to accompany this project!

Don't forget to have students create a T-chart and mark what items are insulators and what items are conductors.

 

Interactive Poetry with Scratch

Another favorite project we love is to create interactive poetry! For this project, students create poems out of old book pages and make poetry interactive with Scratch and Makey Makey!  

Black out Poetry

Interactive Poetry with our Sampler

If students are not ready for coding, you can also make poetry interactive with our Makey Makey Sampler App! You can have students create drawings that will play different parts of the poem based on which keys are pressed. 

Simply have students record their audio for each key press, connect to drawings or blackout poetry and play!

Design a Whack A Mole Style Controller 

When we released our backpacks this summer, we also released some amazing new apps into the wild! One of our favorite is the "Fruit Catcher Game" that is styled after the ever popular arcade classic Whack a Mole! For this project, students would pick the amount of inputs needed, and create a controller that will catch fruit for 2 to 18 inputs!

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Get inspired by the Fruit Catcher App!

Design a Musical Instrument

Dori Friedman's Student Instrument

We were super inspired by Dori Friedman's students after Dori challenged them to create their own musical instruments. Dori is a tech and innovation teacher in California, she challenged her students learn about music, sound waves and more. Then students were challenged to design and build musical instruments with Makey Makey and Scratch. 

If you aren't ready to use Scratch, students can build instruments to play with our Makey Makey Sampler App or our new adjustable Makey Makey Piano App!

New Piano App Features

  • Selectable Instruments : Yes! You can choose from a number of different instruments now instead of just a piano. Why not a trumpet piano? Piccolo?
  • Octave Choice : Adjust this slider to pick the octave you want to play music in.
  • Number of Piano Keys : Want more keys? Or less? You can change the number of keys on your piano by adjusting this slider.
  • Scale and Starting Note : Want to start with a different note? Not a problem!
  • Want to use different key presses? Select the piano key and adjust to a different key press in the control panel.

Share Your Project Ideas

Share your latest Makey Makey inventions with us on Instagram , Facebook , Tik Tok , Twitter, and Instructables. 

What are your favorite projects for the start of school? Tag us on social with your favorite project ideas!

Also, make sure to sign up for our Newsletter to find out about new products, new projects, and more!  

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