Makey Makey Certification Workshop at Mess Labs

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Earlier this month I led a Makey Makey certification workshop for educators and makers in downtown Dallas at a hip new makerspace called Mess Labs.

It was a jam packed day of learning about Makey Makey, circuits, and invention literacy. For the better part of the morning, participants explored how Makey Makey worked, hacked poetry, and invented switches. (See inventive switches in ‘Gram below.)

Demo or Die Design Challenge

However, one of the most awesome things that came from this workshop, was seeing tables work and learn together and build their own table community. Because of this full day of learning together, in the afternoon when it came time for the design challenge where makers had to follow the design process to invent something helpful…. well…. you’ll have to see for yourself! Groups had less than an hour to identify a problem, ideate solutions, and create a prototype. I was WOWED by their work and I hope you are too!

Table Group 1: Inspired by IDEO design Process

Table Group 2: Inspired by communication boards for special needs students

Table Group 3: Inspired by “misuse” of fidget spinners

Table Group 5: To help a four year old

Table Group 6: Inspired by child safety!

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This group made a child safety alarm! #MakeyMakey #makered

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Table Group 7: Inspired to combine literature and Makey Makey

Excited about Makey Makey madness? Want to get your own students #beyondthebanana ? There are five more days left in the #evilmakeybook giveaway! Go to this blog post for details!

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Pinecrest Innovation Institute- Wrap Up

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I just got back from Florida and had so much fun facilitating a “Low Floor High Ceiling Workshop” alongside Josh Burker! Josh built this amazing wiki as a resource to which I added ideas for Makey Makey and Paper Circuits.

We stayed true to our maker facilitator background and held this workshop in an open-ended format and let the learners guide their own work. So it was a BLAST! Check out some snapshots of participant’s learning:

Marble runs are always satisfying!

One of my favorite things during the workshop was seeing so many makers make my favorite paper circuit activity from the #bigmakerbook.  While makers were attempting this complicated circuitry, I had an a-ha moment. Even though paper circuits might not seem open-ended, it is a great activity to introduce tinkering, problem-solving, and de-bugging. When makers craft paper circuits, they often have only one or two lights that work at first, so this type of making forces them to tinker to problem solve why their connections aren’t creating closed circuits. Plus, even if they are following a template, the nature of paper circuits allows for some open-ended creativity for incorporating light and interactivity. (Check out this birthday card from one of our workshop attendees!) Lastly, this paper circuit can now be animated with Jie’s new programmable paper circuit “Love to Code” board!!!

Our participants even got to see Josh and I go into mad maker mode when he designed a whimsical Makey Makey instrument inside the wind tunnel, and I hacked a computer fan for Makey Makey spin art. Watch the whole Instagram below:

More on take apart and re-inventing here:

The next day I gave my Keynote on Making and Literacy and explained how Invention Literacy can immerse students in the maker mindset.

I also enjoyed attending sessions and getting even more resources for making with cardboard from Kris Swanson and Vicki Spitalnick!  (And I’m ever so thankful for Kris showing me this vectorizer so I can get my Watercolorbot to be more functional! )

You should add the Pinecrest Innovation Institute to your yearly conference schedule! The Fort Lauderdale campus is beautiful and there will be great learning for all to enjoy. (Plus awesome maker educators like Diana Rendina and Krissy Venosdale are in attendance.)