During the Christmas camp, the students had time to work on new STEM activities. Aoife, who works with a youth development organization called Foroige in Ireland, came to visit during this holiday. Thamarai recently collaborated with Foroige Ireland to create a virtual exhibition. During Aoife’s visit, she generously donated Makey Makey kits and microbits. She showed students how to use them for creative technology projects. Makey Makey kits were invented by MIT researchers with the goal of making STEM education exciting. You can connect the circuit board to many different objects using the colored cords with clips. The system uses closed-loop electrical currents to send signals from the connected objects to the computer.
The students connected each Makey Makey cable to a separate banana. Then, they programmed each cord to a specific sound they chose using Scratch. As the bananas are conductive, the students could play the programmed sound on the computer by simply tapping the bananas. The students spent the morning on this project, making numerous brilliant songs on their self-made banana pianos. They made new songs by programming a new sound to each of their bananas. They were thrilled to learn about circuits and electrical currents in such a creative way, through making music.
Aoife also taught the students how to use Soundtrap, a digital audio workstation, to make podcasts by recording and editing their voices. They also learned how to make their own songs on Soundtrap by overlaying different sounds and creating their own rhythms. Aefa also explained how to use VlogNow Video Editor to make unique, creative videos online. We are so grateful for the generosity of Aoife, who has greatly enhanced our STEM program!