The new Code-a-Key Backpack! Bringing the Makey Makey and the BBC micro:bit together for more invention fun!

Pathfinders Summer Institute 2022 Wrap-up

September 08, 2022

This summer we spent two weeks with phenomenal educators teaching them about Makey Makey, Invention Literacy, and Scrappy Circuits.

Our two week long summer institute hosted by the Infosys Foundation USA focused on learning the basics of circuits and Makey Makey with daily hands-on exploration. We delved further into the world of invention literacy by building Scrappy Circuits, sharing the basics of electronics and cardboard building, and helped teachers learn how to create expressive interactive art. We even created cardboard instruments, crafted alarms with office supplies, and more!

It was so awesome to see teachers taking these ideas and running with them! We've seen a syllable counter created with our Sampler web app, hula hoop game controllers, Frogger with bath toys, and some amazing final project ideas!

Tinkering with Interactive Posters

Check out all these ideas for interactive posters made with our Sampler app.

Momentary Switches

We had a blast making stomp switches, but these teachers took it to the next level thinking about how a stomp switch be used in the classroom.

Weird and Wacky Switches

Mike Carroll led some awesome ideas around Scrappy Circuits. Check out all these weird and wacky switches created by these teachers.

Crafting Alarms

After learning about switches, teachers were challenged to code alarms in Scratch or Make Code Arcade. (Did you know about our new Make Code Arcade Extension?)


Katie Butzu and Mark Lyons came and shared some great ideas on using Makey Makey to create assistive technology. We loved seeing how these teachers adapted the concepts and made this Glove Controller even easier to create!

This hula hoop controller was a fun challenge for participants, we loved seeing how it inspired different ideas for how to implement in the classroom. Jenn thought it would be a great controller that inspires students to code their own maze in Scratch!

Final Project Ideas

Our teachers created so many amazing projects, and then we challenged them to create their own invention to help solve a problem in their classroom or home life. Check out these amazing interactive book ideas from Kristin and Amy!

Erin, Jenn, and Patti created some fun Scratch projects to solve their problems. Erin created a Left/Right Game to help students practice learning left and right. Jen hacked her STEM cart to help her students get their wiggles out before class (see her Google Slides), and Patti made a Scratch project that turns her poster into an interactive documentary!

Tracy and Mandy were intrigued by the build of a mystery box. They both coded projects to serve completely different purposes! Tracy created a box that would help children memorize their bible verses. While Mandy created a mystery box that would teach students about encrypting and she discusses how she would scaffold this project so students could make their own encoded mystery box.

Karie had some really great ideas about introducing Makey Makey, learning about game controllers, and challenging students to invent their own controllers. Check it out!

Michelle was inspired by Scrappy Circuits and the Adaptive resources from Katie Butzu and Mark Lyons. She created an adaptive joystick out of paperclips and is going to challenge students this year to create their own assistive technology.

Amy worked on creating a paper circuit poster that shows students areas of a map and teaches them about different areas using sound and light! 

Pat always wanted to create a Hallway Symphony and was excited to get all the tools in her toolbox to create one that plays her school song as you walk into her classroom. 

Mariah and Velvet are tech teachers at their school but they are never in the same place at the same time. They made an interactive poster with magic buttons that teaches students more about them!

This amazing scholarship opportunity from Infosys Foundation USA allows us to spend 40 hours with teachers in the summer teaching and learning about Makey Makey and Invention Literacy. Thank you Infosys Foundation USA!

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