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Free Professional Development: Light Physical Computing with Scratch and Makey Makey

August 22, 2018

Physical Computing PD

Thanks to Mark Schreiber and Year in the Making, our content creator Colleen Graves, was able to share some free professional development yesterday for maker educators. 

The topic? Some of our favorite things: Physical computing with Scratch and Makey Makey. 

In case you missed it, we wanted to share all the resources during their discussion.

Physical Computing Resources:


  • Colleen's slide deck below

Resources to everything mentioned in the Slide deck:

  • Signals: Interactive art inspired by books and brought to life with Scratch and Makey Makey.
  • SineLab:  An interactive picture book created with Makey Makey and a paper circuit. 

  • Rube Goldberg/Chain Reactions: Check out this chain reaction that incorporates physical and digital chain reactions with Tinkering Studio and Ricarose.

Chain Reaction 1/29 Scratch Section from The Tinkering Studio on Vimeo.

  • Lock Box from the #evilmakeybook: Create a lock box for Breakoutedu by making lists in Scratch that you control with Makey Makey. A lock box can control the start of a game or hold secret messages, or anything you want to hide in a game or animation!

Other Resources Mentioned During Q & A

Starting Physical Computing with #Elemakers

  • Check out these great games for P.E. with STEM in the Gym.
  • Create kid- friendly alligator clips (with the tape from our booster pack) and test the conductivity of items. 


Start Physical Computing with Middle Schoolers

Simple Circuit Challenge

  • Makey Makey Poetry: Create four visuals to represent a poem read in class and have students record their voice in Scratch so others can come up and play the poem by touching each drawing. 
  • Game Controller Challenge: Have students create unique games in Scratch and design controllers to play with these games. Share oversized arcade games to change the way they think about game controllers.
  • Create interactive posters to share learning like this example below: 

Physical Computing with High Schoolers

  • Have students create Blackout Poetry and learn how to draw circuits, or adapt the drawing activity from above to a 3D modeling activity and have student design visual symbols and print with conductive filament (or use regular filament add conductive tape from our Inventor booster pack to make parts of the model conductive.)
  • Have the high schoolers design games and create controllers for younger students. They can also design controllers to be more accessible for students with special needs. Check out this project by our very own, Tom Heck. 
  • High schoolers also enjoy almost every activity mentioned above for younger students. Just make sure you find out what they've done in their previous grades before planning.

What are your favorite ways to introduce physical computing with Scratch and Makey Makey? Be sure to share your ideas on Instructables!

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