Introduction: GridLand

GridLand is a prototype for an embodied learning environment for math concepts. The basic layout of the board is a 4x4 grid, but the construction can be expanded larger sizes. This environment was designed using Makey Makey, Scratch, and aluminum foil tape. The number of squares you can use as an input is limited by the square of half of your available inputs on the Makey Makey. I chose to use 8 out of the available 12 for a total of 16 inputs.

The interface was designed using Scratch and simply reads whether a square is being stepped on by a shoe with a conductive sole (or barefoot). You can find it here:

The grid with diagonal input strip layout was inspired by user JoshF7's Makey Makey Cubeloop. I decided to try to add on to his idea by including a ground strip alongside the horizontal and vertical inputs to relieve the user from the requirement to act as ground.


  • Makey Makey(s)
  • Scratch
  • Aluminum foil tape
  • Alligator clips
  • Needle point connecting wires (for the Makey Makey additional inputs).
  • Scissors
  • Masking tape
  • Interlocking foam weight-room padding. This is can be replaced by any type of moderate sized flat surface depending on your intentions for the project.

Step 1: Laying the Horizontal Tape Lines

I recommend starting by using four long strips of aluminum tape. If you are using the standard width HVAC tape which is around 2 inches wide, you can cut it into strips that are 1/4 as wide.

Lay each horizontal piece down while slowly removing the paper backing and make nice folded corners at the angles.

Step 2: Masking Tape

Once you have layed the horizontal lines, lay down 9 crosses of masking tape to insulate the horizontal tape from the vertical tape as seen in the diagram.

Step 3: Preparing for Ground

Before you place the ground lines, you must insulate with masking tape as seen in the diagram. Make one sideways L shaped line heading up and then right. Next you will attach 4 vertical ground lines and connect them to the original ground line. My technique for connecting lines is seen in the video in this step.

Step 4: Diagonal Inputs

Complete the grid by connecting the diagonal pieces with horizontal on top, ground in the middle, and vertical on the bottom. Place the masking tape carefully and use the folding technique from the previous step's video.

Step 5: Diagram for Connecting the Makey Makey

Alligator clips were used on the left and needle nosed wires on the right. Double check that there are no shorts!

Step 6: Give It a Whirl

If the connections are good, you can give it a test at this point. Either put conductive tape on your shoe (be warned sometimes it doesn't come off easily!) or go barefoot. You can test it with the sample scratch program.