Tinker Maker Engineer Why?
Developing Creativity through Making Across the Curriculum
** Part 2: High Tech Tinkering **
Making with Makey Makey
Stop a moment and think about it... just let your imagination wander... What's something fairly simple that you do on a computer that can be controlled by a mouse and a keyboard?
Now imagine ... what can you dream of using to create your own unique computer input device? Think beyond the banana... Just stop a few moments and dream...
So you may be thinking, how does this work? Makey Makey is a small circuit board with predefined connection spots that you clip one end of a cable to with an alligator clip and click the other end of the cable to anything that can conduct electricity, and then connect into any computer through the USB port. When you touch the object, it sends the signal to your computer corresponding to the spot where you connected the cable, just like a mouse or keyboard would. With the Makey Makey you can control:
- Mouse click
- Up, Down, Left, and Right
- up to 6 letters of your choice
Now Make Something Cool!
There are some cool easy programs to help you get started creating with your Makey Makey at http://makeymakey.com/howto.php#software.
* Choose the program you want to use from the programs on the Makey Makey site.
* Experiment with all sorts of materials to design a fun interactive input tool for your program.
The Hummingbird Robotics kit is simple enough for intermediate students to learn to create with easily, yet powerful enough to challenge even high school programming students. By connecting a combination of lights, sensors, motors, and more, you can add life to all sorts of creative projects.
So what can you imagine? What do you want to create?
Solve the Problem Together
(by table group)
Part 1 - Use any of the materials in the workshop to create a physical model of something that would connect to your content area in some way. Be sure to plan ahead to include elements of movement and/or action in some way.
Part 2 - Using the Hummingbird, add as many elements of movement and/or action as you like to your project. You'll need a laptop with the Hummingbird Controller program installed and connected to your project for the action to happen. You'll find links to the controller program and the Hummingbird Users Guide below.
You'll have an hour to work together to solve the problem. When you're done, you'll have an opportunity to share your invention with the group! I can't wait to see where your creativity takes you :)
Look at we made in class today!
Hammer nose Shark
His fin waves, his eyes flash, all to the sounds of Jaws!
When you get close to him, his eyes light up and he waves at you :)
Ping Pong Ball Catapult
When you turn the switch, it launches ping pong balls at you
Ball Drop Game
When you turn the switch, the ball drops through the maze, the lights flash, as the ball lands on one of 9 activities
When you clap, my wheels turn, my lights flash, and the horn honks too!
Want to Take it to the Next Level? Try Scratch
Scratch (http://scratch.mit.edu/) is a simple, free online visual program that is perfect for teaching young students programming - which is an awesome way to teach students logic in a fun, creative way. What's even better is that tools like the Makey Makey and Hummingbird can be controlled with Scratch, allowing you to create all sorts of more complex, interactive projects.
Looking for something even simpler for younger students? Try the free ScratchJr app for iPad - perfect for students ages 5-7 (http://www.scratchjr.org/).