Tag Archives: Scratch Day

Pics from my #FunkeyFunkey session at #ScratchDay hosted by  #TheComputerSchool & @LogoFoundation!

Today marked another free, fun, and family-friendly Scratch Day organized by Michael Tempel of The Logo Foundation. This season’s event was held at The Computer School on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in New York City. Tracy Rudzitis and her awesome students generously, graciously, and smoothly facilitated throughout. More information can be found on the Scratch Day website here: www.logofoundation.org/scratchday

My particular workshop was something I’ve led many times before. Today was special, though, as Stephen Lewis provided FunkeyFunkey boards and sensors for us to use and was available to help and troubleshoot when needed. Here’s the description from the program:

Scratch, Cardboard, and FunkeyFunkey Musical Instruments
FunkeyFunkey is a microcontroller board – just like MakeyMakey – that allows you to use every-day objects and materials such as aluminum foil, playdough, and bananas to interact with your Scratch projects. We’ll construct cardboard shapes, add conductive elements, connect them to FunkeyFunkey, and program different instruments, sounds, and notes using Scratch to play music and form a band! Audience: People of all ages (children under 8 years old should bring a parent or older sibling to help out) no prior Scratch experience is needed.

Steven (@inventionlab), created the FunkeyFunkey as part of his Make!Sense line of reasonably-priced and accessible micro-controllers and sensors. It’s a pleasure to be able to purchase great tools from Stephen, as he also provides assistance, resources, information, and local delivery! The FunkeyFunkey Simple is only $9.95 and the FunkeyFunkey Sensor starts at $29.95 plus whichever sensors you purchase. At The Brearley School, we invested in class sets of FunkeyFunkey Sensor boards, Infrared (IR) breakbeams, hearbeat sensors,tilt sensors, three different kinds of touch sensors, and a bunch of his well-designed alligator clips.

Finally, below are some pics from Tracy’s awesome Makerspace at The Computer School. Tracy is such a rockstar, and if you try to gush about her or the magic that happens in her classroom (which I do often), she’ll always say, “It’s not me, it’s the kids!”

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Class 5 #FunKeyFunKey cardboard @Scratch instruments! @BrearleyNYC #MakerEd #STEAM #musedchat

I feel so lucky and blessed to have joined the community of teachers and learners at The Brearley School this year. It is a K-12 girls school established in 1884 (a year before my beloved Bryn Mawr College), and as per their mission statement, Brearley “challenges girls of adventurous intellect and diverse backgrounds to think critically and creatively.” They embrace #SplendidNerdiness, and everyone is kind and brilliant. I’m surrounded by Doctors, as many of my colleagues hold doctorates in their fields, and I joke it’s like working in a hospital!

My colleague, Pietro Ennis, and I both teach Class V (aka, Grade 5). We have been brainstorming ways to infuse the curriculum with more STEAM, hands-on, and MakerEd opportunities. Our first project of the year is a variation of something I launched previously with  Emily Sticco and her 8th graders at The School at Columbia University. Students craft original creations in cardboard, design circuits, add conductive elements, program music in Scratch, and connect their cardboard “instrument” to their Scratch project with a FunKeyFunKey board.

(I’m running a similar project at the next Scratch Day on December 10th which will be hosted at The Computer School. It’s a great, free, family-friendly event for any ability level from beginner to advanced.)

My friend, Steven Lewis (@inventionlab), created the FunkeyFunkey as part of his Make!Sense line of reasonably-priced and accessible micro-controllers and sensors. It’s a pleasure to be able to purchase great tools from Stephen, as he also provides assistance, resources, information, and local delivery! The FunkeyFunkey Simple is only $9.95 and the FunkeyFunkey Sensor starts at $29.95 plus whichever sensors you purchase. We invested in class sets of FunkeyFunkey Sensor boards, Infrared (IR) breakbeams, hearbeat sensors,tilt sensors, three different kinds of touch sensors, and a bunch of his well-designed alligator clips.

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Pics and video from my #MakeyMakey session at @RamazSchool’s #ScratchDay. #MakerEd #STEAM @Scratch 

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:

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