ATTENTION TEACHERS: Shipping to students (within the US) is FREE now through September! (details here)

Thinking Ahead for the Fall...at Home or at School

August 16, 2020

We know that learning is going to look different next school year, and we are hoping we can help by providing content for kids, whether they'll be learning from home or at school. 

We wanted to share some ideas for how you could plan to divide and conquer this school year with our online content and splitting up kits from the STEM Pack to send home for remote learning or loaning out kits to campuses. (We are even offering free shipping to student homes for the months of August and September!) 

The STEM Pack contains 12 complete Makey Makey Classic kits plus a whole lot of additional alligator clips and connector wires.

Classes for Kids

We've been busy building these beginner classes for students (age 8 and up), plus we have more classes coming! We created these STEM activities with kids in mind to encourage playful learning, tinkering, and invention for everyone while they are learning from home.

 (Download the pdf here)

Embeddable Google Slides for Teachers

(Click here to copy slides)

We are releasing embeddable Google slides so teachers can easily share activities with students at home! (Teacher facilitator guide and Spanish translations for slides coming soon.)

We also have a new set of intermediate classes that focus on making inventions with items around your house!  You can read about the maker classes here as we are still releasing new classes!

 

We know some schools are already using our STEM Packs to work through these activities with their students. So we also wanted to share some solutions for dividing up your STEM Pack and sending Makey Makeys home for your students in this time of remote learning. 

Sharing Makey Makey Kits 

Protecting Makey Makey

The first thing you'll want to do is protect Makey Makey by keeping each Makey Makey kit with alligator clips and USB cable in a clear protective case like this one. 

Image

 

3D Print a Case

If you are worried about the pin headers (the black protruding pieces on the back) on your Makey Makey and overall protection of the board, you might consider 3D printing a case for Makey Makey.

Here are some good STL files:

Cleaning and Loaning Out

If you want to clean your Makey Makey kits between users, or if you are loaning out kits. Here are some suggestions for cleaning.

(As information around this is constantly changing, check with librarian authorities ALA for current guidelines on loaning materials. )

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that a solution of at least 70% isopropyl alcohol should be an effective disinfecting agent for use on household hard surfaces. To ensure you do not damage the circuit board while cleaning, electronics experts often recommend that you use at least 90% isopropyl alcohol. Please keep in mind that while it is good practice to clean Makey Makey kits between users, transmissibility of COVID-19 from contaminated surfaces and objects is not fully understood, and we cannot guarantee that this procedure will rid the Makey Makey of all COVID-19 germs until more research is done by the CDC.

See the CDC website for more recommendations on routine cleaning and disinfection of households.

Keeping Alligator Clips Clean!

Everybody knows that we love alligator clipping to everyday objects here at Makey Makey. But what do you do when you open your Makey Makey box to discover somebody didn't clean that banana goo off the alligator clips? (EW!) 

Here's some fun hacks to keep your alligator clips clean and shiny!

Use a Paper Clip

1) Don't put the alligator clip in the banana! While you can actually plug onto the stem of a banana and still conduct lovely music, you could also just alligator clip onto a regular ole office paper clip and poke the paperclip into your banana or Play-Doh instead! 

Brush your Teeth

2) We know sometimes that you might have had too much fun with your last Makey Makey project and you forgot to clean your alligator clips before storing them. Don't worry, you can just use a little soap and water and an old toothbrush to get those alligator teeth shiny again!

 

Other Alligator Clip hacks

Keeping alligator clips clean is one thing, but sometimes they are just so hard to open and close, ya know? Don't worry, we have a hack for that too!

Kid- Friendly Alligator Clip Hack

Hack a clothespin to make a kid friendly alligator clip! For this tutorial, we used the conductive fabric tape from our Inventor Booster Kit to hack a regular clothespin or check out our latest Maker class to learn how to hack a clothespin with plain kitchen foil! 

 

And here's the latest video for hacking a toy and using the clothespin alligator clip to create a body systems toy with your favorite stuffie!

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