How does a MaKey MaKey work?

One of our favourite technologies to use on the bus is called a MaKey MaKey. A MaKey MaKey is a small circuit board that turns physical objects (like a banana) into buttons for your computer. It works by creating electrical circuits.

In this picture a MaKey MaKey is being used to connect an apple to a computer. A small amount of electricity flows from the computer to the apple. To complete the circuit, the person in the picture needs to hold a ground wire. This ground wire works as a return path for the electricity.

For a circuit to work, electricity needs to flow in a circular path, from a power source (when we’re using a MaKey MaKey our computer is the power source), to a object (in the picture, the apple is the object), and then back to the power source (it travels through you back to the laptop).

With a MaKey MaKey anything that conducts electricity can be turned into a button for your computer, if you want to learn more about what kinds of things would work, why don’t you explore for ideas.