Wanda Green of The Tom Green County Library System in San Angelo invited me out to lead teachers and librarians through the Makey Makey Invention Literacy workshop this summer.
It was a fun day of great learning! Check out the day of learning below. (Note: This is a workshop I facilitate that was designed by Tom Heck. I change things up a little bit, but this amazing workshop and design challenge was designed by Tom!)
Giant Paper Circuits and Switches
We started the day with hands-on learning about circuits and switches. Teachers were excited to learn how to make a simple circuit and construct their own switch out of everyday materials. I like teaching teachers about circuits BEFORE opening up Makey Makey for the first time. After completing circuits with switches, teachers examine Makey Makey, plug it in, and play Makey Makey piano and bongos, etc.
Coding Visuals for Storytelling
After playing around with the Makey Makey apps, I challenged the attendees to draw their circuits.
I love mashing up literacy and making, so for their first experience combining Makey Makey with Scratch, I ask them to draw four visuals to tell a story (or to retell a story).
After a quick tour of Scratch, they recorded their voices and made their drawings interactive by creating events in Scratch.
For the last half of the day, teachers are challenged to work together to use Design Thinking and solve a real problem they have.
I just love how a good design challenge encourages collaboration and engagement. Plus, by working with recyclables, learners are able to easily see trash become treasure with this everyday prototyping tool.
Here are some unique challenges from librarians and teachers and the solutions they created using Makey Makey and Scratch!
Problem One: Patrons need to sign a waiver when they enter the makerspace.
Solution: Create a sock puppet to remind someone to sign a waiver as they pick up the pencil to sign in.
Problem Two: Teen librarians find it difficult to get teenagers to play games well collaboratively.
Solution Two: Build a unique game controller system and a game that requires teens to play together in order to win the game.
Problem Three: A child forgets to take medicine before leaving for school.
Solution: Create an alarm that reminds the child to take medicine and detach the alarm from their backpack as they leave for the school day.
Problem Four: Little learners have trouble finding Ctrl Alt Delete AND remembering their user names and passwords.
Solution: Create an interactive display that helps them find Ctrl Alt Delete and helps them with user name and password.
Problem Five: Books are being misshelved in the library.
Solution: Create a system to put books on the shelf in the right way. Use Scratch to tell what title the book is as it is pulled off the shelf, and create a switch that is only pressed when the right book is put on the shelf.