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

New Makey Makey Plug and Play Interactive Poster App

This activity allows you to combine Makey Makey and our Interactive Poster app to create an interactive poster.  While designing your own interactive poster, you will investigate how circuits work. Plus, you'll begin to think about user interface design and how it is important when designing physical computing projects.   

Research Poster Topic

This guide uses the Makey Makey Interactive Poster app. If you are looking for the guide with Scratch instructions, please click here

Create a poster about the topic you want to share! You can make an interactive body systems poster, interactive display about an animal, display the life cycle of plants, share great poetry, and more! The possibilities are endless!

Once you've researched a topic, design a poster with images and text to display what you've learned. 

Create Conductive Touch Points and Finish Poster Design

Use conductive materials to create conductive touchpoints on your poster. When designing a user interface, think about the age of people who will be using your poster to learn about your topic. User interface design is an important stage in inventing!

  • Is it obvious where to hold EARTH on your poster?
  • Can users tell how to play sound effects when they walk up to your poster?

First decide what materials you want to use to make conductive touch points on your poster. You can use pencil lead (we prefer 6B pencils which have heavier graphite than your average pencil), metal paperclips, tin foil, etc. (Want to know what items are conductive? Check out this project to learn more.)

    Download and print this conductive materials list! 

    Metal Thumbtacks

    You can use metal thumbtacks for conductive touch points. Press into cardboard and connect alligator clips on the back of the poster. 

    Back of the Poster

    We added styrofoam on the back of our poster to stabilize it since the alligator clips add bulk. Think about how you want to frame your poster so users can press conductive touch points and your poster maintains stability.

    Close up

    Pencil Drawing

    Pencil drawings work great as conductive touchpoints, but the graphite might come off on your fingers and you may have to redraw your circuits over time. Make sure lines are dark and thick and that the alligator clip is connected directly to the pencil drawing.

    Brass Fasteners

    This is one of our favorite supplies for creating conductive touchpoints! Press the fastener through your poster and fold the legs of the fastener on the back so you can clip your alligator clip directly to the fastener on the back of the poster. 

    Mixed Items!

    You can always mix items, but make sure that your user knows how to play sounds on your poster!

    Full How To Video for this Project

    You can record your audio directly into our Makey Makey Poster App, Sampler App, or record and code audio in Scratch.

    Recording Sounds

    If you are recording poetry, make sure your voice matches the mood and tone of the poem you are sharing. Practice what you will record multiple times before recording. 

    Makey Makey Interactive Poster App

    Want to add your own images and your own sounds but aren't ready to code yet? You can plug and play with our Makey Makey Interactive Poster App

    To add a sound or visual to a key press, select a key, click on the corresponding button. You can also select the keypress you want by using your Makey Makey!

    On the right side you have a visual creator and an audio creator. With a keypress selected (the selected keyboard key turns yellow when selected), click on the upload arrow in the visual creator to add a web, jpg, png, or gif file. Or click on the audio creator to upload a wav or mp3 file.

    Make sure to allow the app to use your camera and microphone

    allow app to use camera and microphone

    Once you've uploaded a photo to a key press, you will see it in the visual creator on the right hand side of the screen. Enabled your microphone and hold the button to record sound, just like in our Sampler app.

    recording sound in poster app

    With your sound and image uploaded, now when you hold down the up arrow key, the picture and sound you added will display in the screen area. Add up to 18 images and sounds. When you have all of your images and sounds mapped, you can click the download arrow in the center of the screen to export the entire poster and re-upload as needed. 

    Remapping Makey Makey Mouse Controls for Makey Max

    With our Makey Makey Max Backpack, you can have up to 18 inputs with one Makey Makey!

    For this project, if you want to use 18 inputs, you will remap the mouse controls on the back of Makey Makey to numbers 1-6. When you attach the Makey Max Backpack after remapping, the mouse controls will now be numbers 1-6.

    Download your own Remap Worksheet

    Make sure you have a Makey Makey of 1.4 or higher to use with the Makey Makey Backpack. (You can remap 1.2 or higher and use jumper wires if you do not have the Makey Makey Backpack bundle)
    Check version number
    Follow the illustration on the remap page to place alligator clips. One clip from the up arrow to down arrow and one clip connected from the left arrow to the right arrow. This will put Makey Makey into a remap state.
    Place alligator clips as instructed for remap
    Once you are in the remap software, hold EARTH and move the cursor on the page by pressing the arrow key inputs on Makey Makey. When you get to the mouse header section, press click, then navigate to change the top mouse input to the number 1. Repeat until you've changed all of the mouse inputs to the numbers 1-6.
    Hold EARTH and change key presses
    Make sure to save your settings!

    After all keys are remapped, click the down arrow and tap SAVE to maintain the remapped keys. Until you put Makey Makey into a remap state again, these inputs are now remapped to your new choices. You might want to label your Makey Makey so you remember that it is remapped!

    Once your Makey Makey mouse controls are remapped, you are ready to attach the Makey Max backpack. Align all pins on the backpack board with the headers on Makey Makey.  

    Gently squeeze the boards together with even pressure, making sure all pins enter the corresponding holes. 

    Attach Makey Max Backpack
    Test your inputs on Makey Max with the piano app, or open a document and see if pressing these inputs outputs the numbers 1-6.
    Test Inputs

    Now that you have 18 inputs, add as many images and sounds to your poster as you would like! Remember to export your whole poster by clicking the download arrow. When you are ready to share again, you can click on the folder icon to upload your whole poster project.



    Now that you've made an interactive poster, try out some of these projects.



    Time Investment
    45 min- 1 hr
     4th- 12th



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