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Makey Makey Interactive Poster

45 min – 1 hour

Intermediate

4th – 12th grades

What Will You Learn?

This activity allows you to combine Makey Makey and Scratch to create an interactive poster.  While designing your own interactive poster, you will investigate how circuits work. Plus, you’ll begin to think about user interface design and how it is important when designing physical computing projects.

Research Poster Topic

Step 1

Create a poster about the topic you want to share! You can make an interactive body systems poster, interactive display about an animal, display the life cycle of plants, share great poetry, and more! The possibilities are endless!

Step 2

Once you’ve researched a topic, design a poster with images and text to display what you’ve learned.

Record Audio in Audacity or Scratch

Step 3

You can record your audio directly in Scratch, or record in Audacity and upload to Scratch.

Recording Focus

If you are recording poetry, make sure your voice matches the mood and tone of the poem you are sharing. Practice what you will record multiple times before recording.

Audacity

Record sounds and export as an mp3 or wav file.

Scratch

In Scratch, pick a sprite, and open the sounds tab. (Your sprite can be an image you uploaded or a sprite from the Scratch sprite libraries.)

In the sounds tab, you can upload your own mp3 or wav file, load a surprise sound, or record a sound by clicking the microphone button. If you recorded a sound in Audacity, then upload your mp3 here in the sounds tab. Or follow directions below to record your sound in Scratch.

Once you click the microphone to record or upload a sound, you can edit your sound and add effects. Make sure to name your sound so you will be able to code key presses easily.

Code Sound Bites in Scratch

Step 4

Now that you have sounds in Scratch, you can easily code the sound to play on a key press. Make sure to assign each sound to a different key press so you can trigger sounds with different Makey Makey inputs.

To trigger sounds with a key press, you can use the “when key pressed” hat from the yellow “events” palette.

Or you can add the Makey Makey Extension and use the “When Makey Makey Key pressed” hat.

Coding Multiple Sounds on Multiple Sprites

Optional

In our Black History Month Scratch Project, we coded each sprite to play the reading of a poem. Since the poems are long, we added the code “stop all sounds” under the triggering event so that the sounds will not play on top of one another.

Create Conductive Touch Points and Finish Poster Design

Step 5

Use conductive materials to create conductive touchpoints on your poster. When designing a user interface, think about the age of people who will be using your poster to learn about your topic. User interface design is an important stage in inventing!

  • Is it obvious where to hold hold EARTH on your poster?
  • Can users tell how to play sound effects when they walk up to your poster?

First decide what materials you want to use to make conductive touch points on your poster. You can use pencil lead (we prefer 6B pencils which have heavier graphite than your average pencil), metal paperclips, tin foil, etc. (Want to know what items are conductive? Check out this project to learn more.)

Option - Thumbtacks

You can use metal thumbtacks for conductive touch points. Press into cardboard and connect alligator clips on the back of the poster.

Option - Pencil Drawing

Pencil drawings work great as conductive touchpoints, but the graphite might come off on your fingers and you may have to redraw your circuits over time. Make sure lines are dark and thick and that the alligator clip is connected directly to the pencil drawing.

Option - Brass Fasteners

This is one of our favorite supplies for creating conductive touchpoints! Press the fastener through your poster and fold the legs of the fastener on the back so you can clip your alligator clip directly to the fastener on the back of the poster.

Option - Mixed Items

You can always mix items, but make sure that your user knows how to play sounds on your poster!

Step 7

We added styrofoam on the back of our poster to stabilize it since the alligator clips add bulk. Think about how you want to frame your poster so users can press conductive touch points and your poster maintains stability.

Full How To Video for this Project

Maker Camp June 10, 2021
Maker Camp is a do-it-yourself online resource to help leaders like you organize a summer camp that engages children in making. Our goal is to provide you and your campers with the inspiration and the helpful resources, along with many possible projects to fit a wide range of interests and abilities. The idea is to focus on making as a playful, social activity. Maker Camp provides enough support for anyone to get started. Making provides experiences that help children become self-directed learners and good problem-solvers.
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