Review: Makey Makey

Makey Makey, Programs

Robot Basics:

Both Heather and Sharon describe this well, check their posts here and here. But if you missed it – Makey Makey is a tool that turns everyday objects into a computer controller.

  • Age Range? My program was for grades 4 and up.
  • How Did We Acquire it? Through the ILEAD grant funds, and my library also purchased the Makey Makey for programming.

What I did:

I used the Makey Makey in a “Library Makers” program at our library. The goal of our Library Maker programs are to add more STEAM/Maker based offerings for a variety of age ranges. For this one, we registered for grades 4 and up. The session was designed to be an introductory session where kids could get their hands on the Makey Makey and see what they could do.

We had three kids attend, and I also invited their caregivers down to the program if they wanted to come. All of the caregivers came down for part or all of the program. I like to do this at certain events, I feel like it is a good advocacy strategy and also I like when caregivers can do something different with their kids. Playing with a Makey Makey is not something kids and parents do together every day.

I set up each Makey Makey with one of the library’s Chromebooks. Each participant got to use their own Makey Makey, so it was nice not to share. But if we had had more kids, we would have had to work in teams. The kids mostly experimented with the Makey Makey piano. One participant had used a Makey Makey before and he played tetris and showed the others how to do it as well.

For supplies to use with the Makey Makey I had potatoes, bananas, oranges, playdough, tin foil and some fun foam craft sheets I dug out of the craft supplies. I think this was a good variety of tools, but I would probably add more in future programs.

Overall, the kids really enjoyed the time to play and the caregivers also had fun too!

Skills Needed:

Makey Makey is approachable. You will need basic computer skills and an Internet connection.

Good Stuff

Everything was good at this program! Feedback was very positive and our library users are enjoying our new tech based programs.

Frustrations

None.

Ending Thoughts/Observations

Makey Makey is a great way to start to build more STEAM/Maker programs. I think it is a really good entry point for librarians.

Overall Rating

Great!

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