Binary Numbers Dance Mat Game With Makey Makey

About: Computing science teacher in Scotland, UK. Twitter: @mrmckaycomp

Created for Maths Week Scotland 2018: make a dance mat game that teaches about binary numbers through a Scratch game.

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Step 1: Stick Conductive Tape

Take four pieces of coloured paper. Mark the numbers 8, 4, 2 and 1 with aluminium or copper conductive tape. I also stuck my paper together to prevent the pieces slipping out of place.

Step 2: Cut Slits in the Paper

With scissors, cut slits from the top of the paper to the edge of the numbers. Push the alligator clips through the back of the slits to attach to both sides, including one direct contact onto the tape. Lastly, use clear tape to hold the clip to the front of the page, to stop it slipping away.

Step 3: Complete the Wiring

Attach the four wires to the arrow terminals on your Makey Makey:

  • Up: 8
  • Down: 4
  • Left: 2
  • Right: 1

Add a grounding strap to the earth terminal, with an extra length of wire if required.

Step 4: Download the Scratch File

Download the Scratch game (here), or make your own. The game is controlled with arrow keys (up/down/left/right). Click the flag to start the game, and use the arrow keys (Makey Makey) to switch on/off the 1s and 0s on the 4 columns.

Step 5: Play!

Wearing the grounding strap, stand on the numbers (in socks or barefoot) to turn the 1s and 0s on or off. Create the right combinations of numbers to make 4-bit binary numbers. Compete against the clock - the default time is 1 minute. More points are awarded for the most difficult binary (4 numbers pressed at once).

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