Sunday, September 6, 2015

Interactive Bulletin Boards with "Makey Makey" hardware and "Scratch" programming

A goal of getting the students and staff excited and curious about our transition to a library learning commons led me to this idea:

It's an interactive bulletin board that brings together the power of "Makey Makey" and "Scratch" to teach the viewer about the new curriculum of our library learning commons.  

I had worked with the Makey Makey invention kits and Scratch coding program with students in my summer camps and continuing education courses to program cardboard musical instruments and even cookie jar alarms:

Having a handful of these awesome devices around meant that I could spare one to create this bulletin board without denying my students the opportunity to tinker with one in a maker station.  

The Scratch program that runs this board is incredibly simple, and anyone could learn how to create one of their own after minimal exploration of the program.  Simply use the "when key is pressed" block under the "events" category.  Record the new sound you want to play (using the top sound tab), and insert it with a "play sound" block found under the "sound" category.  Be sure to attach the aluminum foil (or whatever conductor you use) to the correct output key on the Makey Makey, complete the circuit with an "earth" conductor, and voilàyou are good to go!

I hope to update this interactive Makey Makey bulletin board throughout the year, and to eventually get my students involved in the programming and construction. 

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