Using Makey Makey for Active Play & STEM

makey makey STEM

Recently I was introduced to this awesome little tool called the Makey Makey. This product has become so popular in classrooms, afterschool programs like the YMCA, occupational therapy, and many other industries. With the movie Civil War being so popular, I came up with the idea to create a game with Scratch Studio that pits Captain America versus Iron Man and allows each player to become the characters and get active. This Makey Makey activity encapsulates STEM and Active Play.

You can use Makey Makey for so many different types of activities. It is a simple circuit board that lets you connect everyday objects to a computer, such as food, plants, clay, and more! It’s an easy process and you don’t have to use any programming, but you can if you would like to create your own activity on the computer.

Iron Man Vs. Captain America – Makey Makey style

Goal: Create a simple game that could be connected to the Makey Makey and allow two players to be physically active.

Here is the game located on Scratch website: Iron Man Vs. Capt. America

makey makey

I began the process by looking around the Scratch website for games, activities, and projects that encompassed what I wanted each character to do on the screen. This process took me into the coding world, where basically you learn, “If X occurs, then Y should happen”.

I was able to look at each activity and click on the ‘look inside’ tab to see how the creators wrote the code to make their characters do what they wanted to do. Because this is an educational tool, it is all free and sharing is encouraged.

How to Play:

The Makey Makey comes with: 

  • 7 Alligator Cables
  • USB Cord
  • 6 Connector Wires
  • 1 Tin Case
  • Stickers
  • Instructions

You will also need:

  • 6 Poly Spots
  • Foil
  1. Connect the USB cord from the Makey Makey to your computer. Have the Iron Man Vs. Capt. America activity open.
  2. Three poly spots are needed for each player: move left, move right, fire. Cover your poly spots with foil. Now they will be conductive and work with the Makey Makey.
  3. Connect the alligator clips to the foil covered poly spots. The spots will now take over for the computer keys. Jump on the spots to get the character to move!
  4. Adjust the placement of the spots to encourage more movement. Players also have to be connected to the ‘Earth’ portion of the Makey Makey circuit board so the electronic circuit is complete when they touch the poly spots.

Visit the How To guide for more information on how to use Makey Makey.

makey makey for PE

After this project I discovered I was able to put together the code for a game AND in fact manipulate components I never considered before accepting the challenge. The great thing about the Makey Makey is it combines Makerspace, STEM, and physical activity.

Submitted By: Brian Armstrong, Key Accounts Representative at S&S Worldwide

What will you create? Check out these other cool ideas on how to use this awesome product:

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1 thought on “Using Makey Makey for Active Play & STEM

  1. STEM education for kids is very important because in coming years everything will be skill based. This is a really interesting STEM activity for kids and would make learning fun of them. Thanks for sharing!

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