Makey Makey at the Harbor School STEM Lab | Harbor School
 

Makey Makey at the Harbor School STEM Lab

New Jersey Special Education STEM Lab–Making a difference with Makey Makey!

In 2019, the Harbor School of Eatontown, New Jersey, opened its new STEM Lab. One of the exciting features students will be able to access an easy-to-use, hands-on invention kit called Makey Makey. With a focus on real-world problem solving, it is a teaching tool that can ignite students’ curiosity, foster a love of learning, and inspire creativity. 

How does Makey Makey work?

Makey Makey is a circuit board that connects to a computer via a USB cable allowing users to connect everyday household objects to computer programs. The computer becomes an extension of their creativity, fostering imaginative discovery. Users with no coding experience can experiment, invent, and build circuits that can be used like a joystick or a keyboard key. Makey Makey simplifies electronic devices to make the world manipulable in ways previously available only to developers.

The Banana Piano is a popular project. In this setup, bananas become piano keys when connected to Makey Makey. Students are astonished when they realize they can make music just by tapping on a row of bananas.

When inventing, anything goes! Some of the materials students can connect to the circuit include:

  • Most fruits and vegetables as well as many other foods such as marshmallows, gummy candies, macaroni, cupcakes, and shrimp
  • Plant leaves or flowers
  • Modeling clay
  • People! A sound can be triggered when two people connect to the circuit and touch hands.
  • Pencil graphite. Draw thick, dark lines on a smooth surface and touch the end of the alligator clip to the lines. 
  • Metal objects like aluminum foil, coins, magnets, nuts and bolts, forks and knives, or pots and pans
  • Everyday items such as inflatable balls, paper plates, cardboard boxes, foam, Lego™ bricks, plastic storage boxes, stuffed animals, clothing, fabric, string, yarn, elastic, and paper

Who can use Makey Makey?

Learners of all ages, regardless of their academic strengths or weaknesses, can use Makey Makey since it is easy to use and does not require prior coding experience. Makey Makey gives all students equitable access to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learning opportunities. With open-ended design challenges, success is not measured by a single correct answer but from making mistakes and trying different solutions. With Makey Makey, the possibilities are endless!

Building 21st Century Skills

Problem-solving, creativity, collaboration, communication, innovation, critical, and analytical thinking are vital 21st-century skills in our rapidly changing world. With infinite ways to invent, solve, and innovate, Makey Makey provides learners with the tools to help them develop into risk-taking, critical-thinking collaborators. We are so excited to see what students will create with it!

Anne Gunteski-Principle Harbor School, Eatontown, NJ

Harbor School a private special education school in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Our mission at Harbor School is to help all of our special needs students with learning, social, language, behavioral, and other disabilities. Our highly skilled staff are committed daily to helping each student reach their full potential.

We would be more than happy to discuss your child's specific needs and challenges, so please call us at 732.544.9394, or request a tour at Harbor School in Eatontown, NJ. We are located just minutes off of the Garden State Parkway at exit 105 and conveniently located off of Route 35 and Route 36 in Monmouth County, NJ.

Anne Gunteski, 
Principal-Harbor School, Eatontown, NJ