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Emerging Technology & 3D Printing at Centennial Libraries

Learn about the library's technology collection and 3D printing service! Borrow resources like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, virtual reality headsets, podcasting kits & more!

What is MaKey MaKey?

MaKey MaKey allows everyday objects to communicate with your computer. Learn about circuitry and the Internet of Things. With basic coding, invent solutions to everyday problems. 

On this page:

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Borrow It!

Click on a piece of technology to see if it's available in the library and place a hold to reserve it. If the item is available, you can also come to your campus library and ask for an item to borrow it. 

Getting Started

Use the USB cable to connect the MaKey MaKey to your computer. Once the MaKey MaKey is connected, it works like an external keyboard. Using alligator clips, connect conductive objects to the MaKey MaKey which will become your computer keys

Create a Banana Piano to Get Started! 

1. Connect the MaKey MaKey to your computer using the USB cable. Plug the small side of the USB cable into the MaKey MaKey and the big side into your computer. (If the computer asks you to install drivers, just cancel or close the window). 
2. Open this link in your browser: http://makeymakey.com/piano to access a piano keyboard designed specifically for MaKey MaKey. Click on it and play using your computer's arrow keys, space and click
3. Connect one end of an alligator clip to the bottom of the MaKey MaKey which is marked Earth. Hold the other end of the alligator clip (the metal part) between your fingers. This will ground the circuit. 
4. If you want bananas to become your piano keys, connect them to the MaKey MaKey using the alligator clips
5. Find the four arrows, space and click sections of the MaKey MaKey and connect one end of each alligator clip to each section.
6. Connect the other end of each section to a banana
7. While holding the alligator clip connected to ground, touch each banana to play the piano on your computer screen!

Watch the banana piano in action!

Watch a student from Story Arts Centre play the Dr. Who theme song on the banana piano using one hand and only 6 keys!

Her other hand is used to hold the alligator clip that grounds the circuit.

This video was taken during the library's Science Literacy Week events. 

Beyond the Piano

MaKey MaKey has tons of other apps you can use to create cool things, including bongos, a synthesizer, Tetris, and more. Connect your MaKey MaKey to Scratch to really release its full potential. 

Learn more

Beyond the Banana

MaKey MaKey works with more than just bananas! Anything that's conductive will work. Test out these objects:

  • other fruits and vegetables
  • other foods (marshmallows, gummy candies,
    macaroni & cheese, cupcakes, shrimp)
  • plants & flowers
  • Play D'oh
  • People
  • Graphite from a pencil (drawn lines on paper)
  • Metal (foil, magnets, forks, pots)

Not sure where to start? Try these MaKey MaKey challenges!

For Educators

Complete our Makerspace Equipment Booking form to reserve the MaKey MaKey kit for a specific day. 

Interested in using MaKey MaKey in your classroom, but not sure where to start? Contact your librarian, Natalie Colaiacovo (ncolaiacovo@centennialcollege.ca) for support and resources. 

Use MaKey MaKey to introduce students to:

  • Engineering & electronics
  • Product design & innovation
  • Entrepreneurship

Students can:

  • Prototype new projects & inventions
  • Engage in project-based learning
  • Find solutions to modify existing products
  • Learn problem-solving & creative thinking skills

Jay Silver: Hack a Banana, Make a Keyboard

Watch Jay Silver, co-founder of MaKey MaKey explain how this resource be used to hack everyday objects and quickly prototype new designs.

How is MaKey MaKey Used in the Classroom?

Not sure how MaKey MaKey applies to your classroom? MaKey MaKey could be used in ANY classroom -- not just STEM classrooms.
Beyond helping users understand basic electricity & circuitry, MaKey MaKey can be used to teach innovative thinking, problem-solving, design & teamwork. Here's how:

  • Before a group assignment for your course, have your students work together on a MaKey MaKey project to encourage communication & teamwork among group members
  • If students need to design a product for a business or design course, have them use MaKey MaKey to prototype their design
  • Want your students to think outside the box? Have them practice by using MaKey MaKey to create something new

Borrow It!

Interested in borrowing the technology on this guide?

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