Introduction: Makey Makey Balance Ball Keep Steady Timer

About: Interested in fostering problem-based learning to improve science literacy K-12. Views are my own, retweets do not indicate endorsement. Also @BrowardSTEM

How long can you balance on a balance ball? Make this simple Makey Makey Scratch timer and work on building core muscles!


1 Makey Makey with 2 alligator clip wires (provided with the device)

1 computer with USB port and Internet access to

2 pieces of thinner (cereal box) cardboard approximately 4" x 6"

2 pieces of corrugated cardboard approximately 2" x 4" (you can use foam board for this)

2 strips of aluminum foil each 1" longer than the long side of the thinner cardboard pieces

rubber bands, binder clips (optional)

Tape - painters, duct, masking... any tape will work

1 Inflated balance ball

Step 1: Build a Cardboard Pressure Switch

Follow the basic instructions in this Instructabe:

with the following modifications:

Use thinner cardboard for the plates and corrugated cardboard folded to separate the pressure plates when not in use.

NOTE: the foil must go all the way to the edge to conduct when the alligator wires from the Makey Makey are connected.

Step 2: Connect the Makey Makey

Connect one alligator clip wire to one plate (be sure it is touching the foil!) and to the EARTH part of the Makey Makey.

Connect the other alligator clip wire to the other plate (be sure it is touching the foil!) and to the SPACE part of the Makey Makey.

The two metal ends of the two wires SHOULD NOT touch each other.

Plug Makey Makey into a USB port on the computer that will be running the Scratch program.

Step 3: Code Time!

Sample Scratch code:

Sample code in the image or remix the linked project.

Test by pressing the space bar. The timer increases while the space bar is pressed and stops when the space bar is released. Clicking the green flag resets the timer.

Step 4: Time to BALANCE!

  1. Place the pressure switch on top of the balance ball.
  2. Click the green flag on the Scratch program to run the program and start at 0.
  3. Balance on the balance ball by sitting on the sensor pressure plate switch.

SAFETY first - balance carefully by sitting and make sure you have space around you so nothing interferes with safely sitting on the ball.

Have fun! How long can you balance? Record your data on paper or in a spreadsheet and see if you can improve over time!

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