Makey Makey is an invention kit. It is great for kids in a classroom because it allows them to create things and experiment with conductive materials. I also like that it has already been coded for the user, so you can focus on the creation side of things.
Our Professional Development Coordinator (PDC) team spent one morning experimenting and seeing what we could create. We tried some of the cool apps already available from Makey Makey. (These can be found at http://makeymakey.com/apps/) At first everything worked great, but then we hit a snag. I could not get anything to work when the Makey Makey was earthed to me. We tried my watch band (on both sides of my wrist), the web between my thumb and index finger and the elastic on the bottom of my 3/4 pants. One of the PDCs even suggested masking taping one end of the alligator clip to my arm – this did not work either. The power light was on, on the base of the Makey Makey so it was working, and the lights lit up to indicate they were responding from someone touching them, but I could not get the Makey Makey to do anything. As soon as I passed it to another person it worked straight away. So, apparently this is because I don’t sweat much. If this happens to you, which it may in your classroom, or when you are experimenting with the kit, try to wet your skin, go for a run around the block – or lick your arm! This apparently works, according to our office genius.
If you want a fun way to engage your kids, try the apps available from Makey Makey and create a piano with play dough or fruit. This should spark their imagination and encourage them to explore the possibilities further.