#AtHome STEAM learning for kids at home!

Have a Makey Makey at home?

 

Ready to start inventing from home? I’ve been working really hard at creating a course that kids can take on their own while they are at home! The first five lessons are live, but I am still making new classes to help you start inventing with everyday objects you have at home!

With Makey Makey, you can plug and play right out of the box, make a banana piano, or create a game controller with Play-doh. Take this course from the resource page on our website so you can invent musical instruments, create voting machines, or even light up paper circuits.

Connect Makey Makey to the conductive objects in your home and you can instantaneously give the objects in your living room new purpose!

Lesson One: How Does a Circuit Work?

Learn how a simple circuit works so you can create your first circuit and light your first LED! You will learn how to craft a simple circuit, learn how Makey Makey works by completing a circuit, and learn how humans can connect to make a key press on your computer!

 

Make and Craft a Simple Circuit

Lesson Two: How Does Makey Makey Work?

Learn how Makey Makey works so you can start inventing! You will, make a simple sketch of Makey Makey, use your hands to trigger Makey Makey for piano, build a human circuit, and play and explore with Makey Makey.

 

Head to Hands on a Makey Makey!

Lesson Three: What is Conductive?

Makey Makey works by alligator clipping into everyday things that have some conductivity. When you hook an alligator clip into a banana and you hold an alligator clip connected to EARTH, you are actually the conductive stuff that closes the circuit and makes Makey Makey work! But what materials can we use with Makey Makey besides bananas? What does it mean for an item to be conductive? or an insulator? or even a resistor? Let’s set up a simple experiment to find out! In this lesson, you will make a conductivity testing board to test items for conductivity; learn that everything in the world is either or conductive or an insulator; and start to ideate inventions with everyday stuff you can find in your home.

 

Experiment with What is Conductive?

Lesson Four: Can you Draw a Playable Instrument?

In this lesson, you will draw your own instrument and plug it up to our piano app to play it. However, there are many pianos you can use to plug and play with Makey Makey, or you can even design your own instrument app in Scratch!

 

Draw Your Own Playable Instrument

 

Lesson Five: Coding Key Presses in Scratch

If you have not used Scratch with Makey Makey before, this class is designed for you! Try following along with the create-along style video to code key presses in Scratch. Learn more about specific areas of Scratch to help you learn how to create your own game with ease!

 

Code Key Presses in Scratch

 

Resources for teaching Makey Makey At-Home, Hybrid Models, or Remote Learning

It’s been awhile since I last updated the blog, but I’ve made a ton of new resources for Makey Makey!

First up, let’s talk safety. Here is a whole post about sanitizing Makey Makey kits and sending them home for kids who are learning from home.

How to Clean Makey Makey

Webinars for Professional Development

I also launched a new webinar series for teaching STEM from a Distance for teachers who are all on this crazy new journey of teaching from home, or teaching kids at home while you are at school, and all the other ways teachers are teaching this school year!

Free Classes and Activities

For the last six months at home, I’ve worked hard at creating classes for students and attempted to make all supplies (other than Makey Makey) items the kids would have at home.

See all the classes in this post or browse the Makey Makey how-to page.

There are 8 classes for students (and teachers) new to Makey Makey!

Beginner Makey Makey Classes

There are 6 classes published for the intermediate Makey Makey makers (and two left for me to finish writing!)

Intermediate Makey Makey Classes

Embeddable Slides

Based on these classes, I’ve been making embeddable Google Slides for teachers. Each slide holds ideas from classes for students to complete! As soon as I finish my last two maker classes, I’ll get more of these embeddable slides done for you!

Virtual Makey Makey

A lot of teachers have asked for a virtual Makey Makey and while it’s a little hard to think about how to make a virtual example of something so physical, I did create a virtual Makey Makey in Scratch that kids can use to prototype ideas digitally while they wait for their turn to have a Makey Makey at home. (I’ve heard some teachers are able to send a limited resource home, so let’s say kids are working to complete a class and they are going to make an alarm with Makey Makey, they can create a virtual example in Scratch and then test it with real materials when it is their turn to use the Makey Makey.

Teachers, you can share this Wakelet about Virtual Makey Makey with others! 

You can use this virtual Makey Makey Sprite to prototype invention ideas in Scratch!

Use the Virtual Makey Makey in your own Scratch Projects

Here is a door alarm Scratch project using the virtual Makey Makey and showing how you would set up your door alarm invention with Makey Makey! See the project in action below!

I hope all these resources are helpful to you!

Making PPE at Home

Image from iOS (13)

6 weeks ago, we started our trip into self isolation to protect the immunocompromised in my family. The last month has been quite an adjustment. I saw a lot of maker friends making PPE, and I was just too exhausted from working and home schooling to even attempt something extra.  Aaron and I wanted to help, but we just didn’t have the energy to figure out the complexity of materials etc, on top of just trying to get groceries and keep our kids learning, etc.

Fast forward a month to a little extra kindness from Becky Stern who mailed me some face masks she’d sewn. Yes, I can sew my own masks, but again, I just was lacking the energy to make the amount needed for a four person family. That little extra kindness finally gave Aaron and I the motivation to figure out how we could flex our maker muscles and help local healthcare workers.

We started small….

Ear Guards

I’d seen this post about the boy scout who printed ear guards to help save the ears of healthcare workers.

Here is the file the boy scout used and it is a super quick and easy print! You can print these without a raft and there is no extra work needed. Just print, disinfect, and give to your local healthcare workers.

 

Ethan’s Dad (on Twitter) shared Ethan’s method or making and disinfecting ear savers too.

 

 

Face Shields

3D Printed Visor

The PPE face shields were a bit harder for Aaron and I to figure out. We wanted to make them, but didn’t know the best plastic, print files, etc.

Becky sent me a few ideas from her New York Hackerspace that is making PPE, these great face shield files if you have a larger print bed, and this link from Adafruit for smaller print beds like mine.

Aaron had a lot of suggestions from friends too, and we finally landed on a workflow today that is worth sharing.

 

3D Print File for Visor

We are printing this file for the visor found on Adafruit. (No modifications, thanks to the original creator!)

Vinyl Cut Face Shield and Add-on

We are using this plastic that we actually had from making phone holograms in our #bigmaker book, it’s 12 X 12 so we can cut a wider mask then if we were using an 8.5 X 11 transparency.  Plus, this plastic is just a tad thicker.  For my vinyl cutter, I modified a file for the face shield from my friend Patrick Benfield at Co.lab.  (Thanks to Patrick for making and donating PPE too!) Here is the original pdf file Patrick sent me, and here is the file I modified to work with the three hole punch on the smaller visor printed on a smaller print bed. ( I have a Cricut Maker, but you could cut this on a Cricut Air or a Silhouette Cameo as an acetate material.)

The Add-on

I cut this file from Sophy Wong on my Cricut, but had to make some minor adjustmentsto work with the visors I’ve been printing.

Files for Cutting Plastic or PETG

Other options for plastic

Elijah, one of the awesome junior Mythbusters, suggested this plastic for face shields as well.

 

Corinne Takara is making face shields for food workers and suggested Duralar as a source for face shields.

 

Make and Donate

If you can help out and make PPE make sure you sanitize your work station, wear protective gear while making, and donate to those who need it!

If you need PPE, check out this group that is helping organize PPE for docs and nurses.