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STEAM Ideas with Makey Makey and Strawbees

Makey Makey kits include small circuit boards that can be programmed to do a variety of things.

Students love these kits! You can use the Makey Makey as a controller, as in a video game controller. Instead of allowing students to use the on-board touch pads, have students create their own controller with paper and pencil. Since the graphite is conductive, it will allow them to complete a circuit. Have them use the supplied alligator clips to connect their controller to the circuit board. You can connect to anything conductive, even bananas! Making a musical instrument is another fun activity.

Makey Makey can also be used to create interactive stories for any subject area! Students can create a story or instructional poster that contains self-selected audible content. These linked instructions will help you teach students how to create an interactive storyboard.

Here are pictures of what some CUSD students did.

Strawbees is a building system with straws and connectors that can also incorporate a programmable microcomputer called a Micro:bit. Programming is done through the Microsoft MakeCode for Micro:bit block style programming interface.

Here students created a robotic crane. They then programmed it to rise and fall on command.

We had a group of students devise a machine to transport ice packs to the sick or injured. Fans would turn on when the temperature was too high to assist in keeping the ice cool.

You should have access to Makey Makey and Strawbees kits as well as the Micro:bit kits through the library at your site! Play around with them and have fun. Show me your successes.

Stay Techie,

Owen Brown

Science Teacher

Ceres High

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