Interactive Poster/Board for Classrooms With Makey Makey



Less than 1 hr

Introduction: Interactive Poster/Board for Classrooms With Makey Makey

About: Creative, curious, driven. #MS Science, #LBS undergrad. Founder and innovator of #FrisbeeDogPhysics, #SciFly Currently in #edtech + #KidsCanCode. Love dogs! Twitter: @msgilbertrocks

You will learn the basics of using wires (not alligator clips) with a Makey Makey to make your own interactive wall/board display (stationary or portable). If you follow the sample then you will have a giant poster to illustrate how a Makey Makey works!


Makey Makey Classic, tool to punch holes in material being used, 22 AWG wire (solid core), wire strippers, brads/paper fasteners, foam board, 18x24 print of Makey Makey (optional), glue tape (or similar)

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Gather Materials

22 AWG wire (solid core) or similar material. Solid core is a preference over stranded wire and coated allows the wiring to touch without issue.

You may translate the same idea to a bulletin board or other stationary display. The example provided is portable and used for teacher training purposes. It was originally created for a presentation at the ISTE conference in 2018.

Step 2: Print the Poster

Using the attached file you can print an 18x24 poster at Staples (or similar). The one made in this example had the option for lamination through staples.

For portability and durability, secure the poster to a piece of foam board (the white foam board from Dollar Tree works just fine!). Glue tape was used to avoid bubbles, double sided tape would probably work well too.

Makey Makey poster print was created by Jen Gilbert with permission from Tom Heck of Makey Makey. You may use the image/poster print with their permission!

Educator Tip:

The lamination at Staples is different from that of a school laminating machine. Consider how the outer material would impact the poster (for better or worse) depending on your use-case.

Step 3: Place Your Buttons

Using a sharp implement, punch a clean hole through the poster and foam board. Place the brad (paper fastener) in the hole.

Educator Tip:

When making an interactive display that is stationary you can use the same method. The brad and wire combination are a flatter option that allows for more flexibility in design - think bulletin boards, walls and classroom doors.

Step 4: Wire the Buttons

Wire the buttons by stripping your wire to expose both ends. You will wrap exposed wire around the back of the brad and run it to the Makey Makey. TIP: Label your wires in some way! This allows you to organize the "behind the scenes" action. Tape is your friend. You can use painter's tape for temporary installments, but be sure to get some cord management going before you move too far.

You'll want to measure out how much wire is needed to travel from the back of your display/poster button to the Makey Makey itself. This is where the painter's tape can shine as well...when it doubt, test it out before cutting the wire and affixing it permanently (if creating this same poster design).

Educator Tip:

Encourage students to be part of the labeling and organizing. You may need to let them try it their own way and assist as needed. Give them a chance to figure it out!

Step 5: Connect Wires to Makey Makey

In this design a Makey Makey is permanently attached to the front of the board. You can remove it, if needed, but figure out what works best for your own design. The wires are stripped on both ends, and these pop through to the Makey Makey and are wrapped around each connection (e.g., arrow keys).

Educator Tip:

Temporarily keeping a Makey Makey up as part of a display can be a beneficial way to make a flexible interactive wall space - what can the kids create just by reprogramming a Scratch project and plugging in via USB cable?

Step 6: Label Any Remapped or Extra Keys

This poster was used to control an Idea Board/Inspiration Station powered by Google Drive and Alice Keeler's Webcam Record Chrome extension. With the basic functions of the default controls on the front of the Makey Makey you will use all of the arrow keys and the space bar. You will need to remap at least two keys. I chose to remap the "click" to the escape key and add the "P" key to one of the back ports.

Arrow keys allow you to navigate in the Google Drive folder with the recorded videos (or other content). The "P" key (preview function) will open a file. Space bar will play videos once open. Escape will close a video/photo/previewed file to go back to the file list.

Educator Tip:

Populate the folder with some sample videos. Set up a recording station (nearby or someplace else entirely!) for videos (e.g., book reviews) that will appear in the Webcam Record folder. Use headphones near the monitor or plug-and-play station that allows students to review them without disturbing others.

Step 7: Share What You Makey!

Thanks to Alice Keeler for supporting the project to use her Webcam Record extension as a teacher training tool or student station! Simple functions in Google Drive and an old laptop or Chromebook left near the station allow for endless possibilities.

Makey Makey poster print was created by Jen Gilbert with permission from Tom Heck of Makey Makey. You may use the image/poster print with their permission!

Looking for more? Stay tuned for an updated website ( with even more details on making your world interactive with Makey Makey! My mission is to go beyond the banana and empower students to use their own skills with invention literacy to solve problems and be creative in their daily lives.

Educator Tip:

Thanks for reading! Please feel free to check out other posted projects on my website and reach out for any questions. If you're in the Chicago suburbs I would be happy to demonstrate any of the projects in person! Join me at any of our local events to connect and share :)

Be the First to Share


    • After School Challenge

      After School Challenge
    • Makey Makey Contest

      Makey Makey Contest
    • Fix It Contest

      Fix It Contest