I had tons of fun introducing a roomful of kids and parents to MakeyMakey and Scratch at today’s Scratch Day, another great event organized by Michael Tempel of Logo Foundation. This edition was hosted by The Ramaz School, and I willingly woke up early on a Sunday and carried two tote bags full of materials to the Upper East Side to lead a session entitled, Cardboard Jam Band with MakeyMakey and Scratch. The description from the program is below:
Makey Makey is an invention kit that allows you to use every-day objects and materials, such as aluminum foil, play dough and bananas, to interact with your Scratch projects. Let’s construct cardboard shapes, add conductive elements, connect them to MakeyMakey, and program different instruments, sounds, and notes using Scratch to play music and form a band!
Suitable for people of all ages; no prior Scratch experience is needed.
I’m totally looking forward to running this session again on December 13th at The Town School’s Scratch Day!
1. I started by showing people how to use the MakeyMakey as a controller that can be attached to any conductive input (rather than only relying on the keyboard buttons of a computer). The story of how Eric Rosenbaum and Jay Silver co-invented the MakeyMakey is pretty interesting too…
2. We then had instant gratification by wiring a MakeyMakey to Eric and Jay’s Piano website and playing a tune: http://makeymakey.com/piano
3. We examined Eric’s freely shared Scratch MakeyMakey piano project to see “what’s inside” his Scratch program: https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/2543877
4. Each participant created a new blank Scratch project with up to 6 events – each event corresponded to a different key/instrument/note/duration which in turn corresponded to conductive inputs attached to the MakeyMakey.
5. Finally, everyone designed a cardboard shape with aluminum foil bits. These metal bits acted as conductive elements that were then wired to the MakeyMakey. I suggested each child make a foil bracelet to wear (with the other end clipped to Earth on the MakeyMakey) in order to conduct electricity yet keep their hands free. One sweet kid recommended making a finger ring instead. I loved that idea! So much easier to put on and take off than a bracelet!
Here are a few more pics from today: