Maker’s Movement and 091 Labs

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Today was the first day playing with makers tools.  Our toolkits included Makey MakeyRaspberry PiSquishy Circuits and Little Bits.

I had a create time playing with each of these tools, but I have to say, Makey Makey was by far the most fun to mess around with.
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Photo on 7-1-13 at 11.20 AM

Makey Makey is really simple to work.  It’s a motherboard with a USB connection for power.  You have the ability to type A, S, D, F, J, K, and L as well as all the arrows, space bar and a right/ left click.  The motherboard use alligator clips and requires something conductive.  We used coins, pencil lead and conductive play dough.  We played PacMan, took photos on PhotoBooth and played the piano on GarageBand.

I had a wonderful time working in the 091 Lab here in Galway.  I was able to see what a space for making is like and learn about technologies that I had only really heard off.  My favorite by far was watching Alanna work with the 3D printer.

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I even go a little robot as a take away souvenir!

IMG_0160I had a great time talking about what I do in Philadelphia and my SeaPerch robotics program with the lads from 091 Labs.  I was very happy to get some get insight and got a lot of ideas for next year.  The crew there suggested about implementing the technologies that I was playing with today in the engineering and manufacturing process.

PART TWO: My own Maker’s Product

Now it was my turn to make something.  When I first thought about creating something that I could implement in my classroom, I thought the assignment would have been easy.  I could surely use these engineered things somehow in a mathematics classroom!  And then I couldn’t find something that worked for me.

My original idea was to have some sort of applet where I could have students draw a linear equation, but I couldn’t find anything in which I could use just the arrows and the mouse.   I searched and searched until I was able to find a code to help me in my Jeopardy review games.

I had initially planned on buying a Makey Makey kit for my SeaPerch kids to help them with circuits and the engineering process, but I am also glad that I found a great “toy” for my freshman in my classroom.  Hopefully as the years of teaching progress, I or someone will write my dream graphing applet so that I can graph with bananas or conductive dough.

As a result of this process, I am now applying to be a part of the maker movement with Maker Faire.  I have applied to get my students involved and am planning on attending the Maker Faire conference in NYC to further expand my PLN.

One thought on “Maker’s Movement and 091 Labs

  1. At first glance people think finding mathematics activities to use with these projects would be simple but it is not. When I first had to choose what kit to buy I looked at the Makey Makey but could not find something that used the correct buttons that was anything more than just an add on. I think this is great that you have a buzzer that tracks who is first to buzz in as I often find that a challenge when playing jeopardy with my own class. I wonder if it is possible to have alligator clips long enough to spread out around the room. Even better yet, it would be nice if the Makey Makey hub could be wifi enabled to allow students to just have a wifi adapter the ground and their conductor to signal back to the main hub so you would not need wires to run everywhere

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