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Invention in the Classroom: Using the Makey Makey Microcontroller

Workshop Spotlight | December 20, 2017

As the number of computer science teachers in the MƒA community continues to grow, so does our offering of technology-focused workshops. These teachers know their tech – and they lead smart and relevant workshops for other MƒA teachers also interested in technology. One popular computer-science themed workshop is “Invention in the Classroom – Using the Makey Makey Microcontroller.”
The Makey Makey is a microcontroller that uses resistive sensing to turn everyday objects into keyboard inputs, including random items like fruit, graphite, ice, modeling clay, and more. With clever coding and some alligator clip wires, a bunch of bananas can turn into an electronic piano, a wet sponge can be played like a bass drum, and a soda bottle can be an mp3 player.

The workshop, facilitated by MƒA Master Teachers Courtney Ginsberg, Ashraya Gupta, and Paul-Michael Huseman, is a hands-on course that explores how to use Makey Makey and Scratch to design electronic instruments, and then how to use these tools to incorporate engineering design principles into the classroom.

“This workshop was a way to foster conversations around invention and engineering in the classroom,” said Courtney Ginsberg. “Being on a facilitation team of various abilities, and then working with teachers of diverse familiarity with tech helped create a safe space to discuss the many different opportunities and challenges that arise from invention and technology in the classroom.”

We offer over 150 courses for MƒA teachers each semester, which translates into about 700 MƒA workshops per semester. Many of these high-quality, STEM-focused professional workshops are proposed, designed, and led by teachers. Take a look at the MƒA Course Catalog to see the wide variety of thought-provoking and engaging workshop opportunities.