Feature Project: Using Engineering to Help Others @ Kanuikapono PCS

Last school year, STEM Pre-Academy provided Kathy Lin, Highlands Intermediate science teacher, a classroom set of Makey Makey kits to pilot with her class. She and her students absolutely loved it, and the lessons and activities were shared with teachers during the STEM Pre-Academy Engineering Design Mini-Workshop. Several teachers borrowed the kits over the summer to try out, and Debra Gochros, Kanuikapono Public Charter School (Kauai) science teacher, has already created and implemented a wonderful activity for her students this school year.

The Design Challenge: Design a video game controller for people with disabilities.

Students first learned the science behind MakeyMakey: starting with electricity and circuits, then conductive and insulative materials. Through hands-on experience, students learned what makes MakeyMakey work, what doesn't, and why.

  
Photos by Debra Gochros.

After the students understood how it worked, they were tasked with using the engineering design process to prototype a video game controller for people with disabilities. The students enjoyed the lesson so much, 4 students asked to borrow the Makey Makey kits to use for their science fair projects. One will be designing a game to teach young children about Hawaiian birds, and another will be designing a game to teach Hawaiian words. One of these students even listed as their goal: "I want to be an engineer and help people." What an inspiration!

We are so happy to see the idea of one teacher spread to others in the program and impacting students, even from island to island! With each teacher putting their own spin on the lessons, the possibilities of where the Makey Makey kits will take students are endless.

STEM Pre-Academy participating teachers, please submit your requests to borrow Makey Makey kits and other items through http://stempreacademy.hawaii.edu/resources/browse