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Invention Literacy Foundations: Buzzer App: Creating Quiz Show Buttons

Want to make a Jeopardy-style quiz show for your classroom or maybe have a trivia night at home? With our new Buzzer App, you can easily build your own custom switches. Our app does all the work to see who buzzed in first!

Makey Makey Buzzer App


This app is designed to emulate a game show style buzz-in system. The “host” or leader of a game can “start” a session and then each individual participant can “buzz-in” by pressing the key assigned to them. In this guide, we'll share a few different devices you can invent with your Get Up + Go or Craft + Code booster kit!

Colorful Buzzers

These colorful buzzers are quick and easy way to create a quiz show device! Simply cut foil and connect foil alligator clip to Makey Makey inputs. If you want some distance, use the wire in our Get Up + Go booster kit to extend your connections to be as long as you want!

Cut foil to place on a colorful square. 

Make sure to use the conductive tape in the booster kit to attach the desired length of wire to the foil. (Note: The outside of the wire is insulated, so you have to strip the end of wire to make sure the conductive metal touches the conductive foil!)

Simply alligator clip to the exposed wire to connect this blue buzzer to your Makey Makey kit.

If you don't need length, you can use the conductive tape from your booster kit to create a clippable spot for your alligator clip.

Alligator clip directly to the tape to connect this green buzzer to the left arrow on your Makey Makey.

Now you are ready to connect to our buzzer app! Scroll down to learn how to adjust the buzzer app for more (or less!) touch points!

Note: With this build, your Quiz show participants will still need to hold EARTH to activate the colorful buttons. The extra long alligator clips in the Get Up + Go booster kit are a great solution! Make sure your Quizzers are holding the metal on the alligator clip. Display your Quiz and then get ready to see who will end up on the leaderboard! 


Slap Hand Buzzer

This is another fun Quiz Show device you can build with foil as your conductor. Simply trace your hand on foil and cut it out.

To make sure quizzers don't have to hold EARTH, you can cut the hand in half and then gluestick the two pieces of foil hand to the paper, make sure the two halves of the hand do not touch. This will create two touch points. Use conductive tape to extend to the your connection so you can alligator clip on the edge of the paper. Clip one half of the hand to an input on the Makey Makey (Left/Up/Right/Down/ Space or WASDFG) and connect the other half of the hand to EARTH. 

Now your handy device has a key input connected to Makey Makey and an EARTH input connected to Makey Makey. The insulator is really the gap between the two conductive touch points.

The quiz show participants will bridge the gap when they slap their hand over the foil hand! 

In our design, we made a foil EARTH in order to only clip one alligator clip to EARTH. 

You can make an EARTH bar like we did or clip multiple alligator clips to EARTH on the Makey Makey.


This is handy device is also a great build for

our counter app

This is also a great build for making a voting machine, exit ticket, or whatever you want to tally or count! We had a teacher during a workshop use the counter to have students vote on their favorite snack! We've seen librarians use our counter app to track the amount of students by grade level that come into the library during the day. There are tons of great ideas for this application!

Slap Switch

You can also build a sturdier switch by making a slap switch. (We were inspired by John Lynch's slap switch design here.) You just need cardboard, foil, brass fasteners and conductive tape.

Cut the foil in whatever shapes you like; we modeled foil after the shapes in the buzzer app. Glue stick the two pieces of foil to your cardboard and make sure the two pieces do not touch. Use a brass fastener to poke through to the back side of the cardboard. 

You could alligator clip directly to the brass fasteners, but to make our design a little more sturdy, we used conductive tape to extend our connections so the alligator clips can clip directly to the edge of the cardboard.

Plug one conductive point to a key press and the other touch point to EARTH. As with the handy design above, the two points are insulated by air (and cardboard) and when a hand slaps down it will bridge the gap and close the circuit!

Buzzer App and Building a Quiz Show 

Now that you have your devices built, you can plug your Makey Makey in and start your quiz show with our Buzzer app! Simply display your questions and let the fun begin!


You can adjust the amount of buzzers in the control panel to start making adjustments.  If you want to change the key presses on each buzzer device, just click on the desired shape and changing the trigger key.


Press the space key to activate the buzzer and see who buzzes in first!

Go to Buzzer App!

There are multiple ways to display your quiz show questions! You could display a Google Slide, host your quiz in Mentimeter or use Quiz Maker to display pictures as answers!

Making a Quiz for Whoosh on Quiz Maker

You could build all kinds of amazing devices for quiz shows! You could even use our infamous stomp switch to have participants jump to buzz in first!



    Time Investment
    30 min



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