Participants: Maria Elena Derrien & Carol Fine
During the 2014-2015 school year, we explored the use of the MaKey MaKey kits to see their usefulness in the science curriculum. We purchased five kits and spent time tinkering with them to understand how they could enhance what we do. Makey Makey kits as described by their creators are “MaKey MaKey is an invention kit for the 21st century. Turn everyday objects into touchpads and combine them with the internet. It's a simple Invention Kit for Beginners and Experts doing art, engineering, and everything inbetween.” We used the kits during the electricity unit in third grade. Kids had to discover what materials allowed the Makey Makey kits to work and what didn’t to reinforce the concept of conductivity. In addition, we used the Makey Makey kits to host a club during the winter months with students in the New Wing. The Makey Makey club was a big hit! Small groups of students tinkered with the kits and designed their own project. Projects included making human bongos, musical staircases, musical sipping straws, typing with fruit, triggering a video about locks when a door opened, and a digital water fountain prank which took your picture as you took a drink! Please see the link attached to see the kids in action. We also used Makey Makey kits during our Winter Family Science Saturday Extravaganza. The Makey Makey station was one of six tinkering activity centers that families could explore.
We enjoyed tinkering with the Makey Makey kits and finding ways to control the computer with everyday objects. We found the ideal use of the kits was in a more open ended, less content driven setting like the clubs and the family science Saturday event. The kits encourage creativity and problem solving, but required more time that could be given in the structured nature of an electricity unit. As a result of our explorations, we decided that Makey Makey kits would best be suited to an informal educational setting like an afterschool club, a family science saturday, a makerspace, or during club times at the Lower School rather than being a staple of the science curriculum.
To see more information about the MaKey MaKey kits please visit:
To see the kids in action using the MaKey Makey kits please click:
Below are two photos from the Family Science Saturday Maker Extravaganza.