Circuit Scribe + Makey Makey Bongos

David HookSTEM Tools & Toys

hand drawn circuits with makey makey

Makey Makey and Circuit Scribe are both great hands-on tools for teaching kids about science and technology, but once you combine the two, the possibilities are truly endless! For the unfamiliar, Makey Makey lets you connect inputs from outside your computer – like paper buttons or even a banana – and translates them into keystrokes of your choosing. Circuit Scribe can be combined with Makey Makey to create new ways to input information into a computer. Together,  you can create custom input configurations designed by you, for whatever use you’d like! For example, Circuit Scribe and Makey Makey can be combined to create custom inputs for media center.  For our purposes, we’ll be learning how to combine the two to play the bongos using hand-drawn buttons.

Laid out supplies: PC, Makey Makey, alligator clips, connector cables, paper, stencli, steel canvas and Circuit Scribe pen

In order to get started, you’ll need the following supplies:

  1. PC
  2. Makey Makey Kit
  3. Paper
  4. Circuit Scribe pen, stencil, steel canvas
  5. Connector Cable Modules and alligator clips

Let’s get started!

1) Connect Makey Makey to PC

Once you connect the Makey Makey to the USB, there will be a pop-up asking you to configure a new keyboard, but just close out that window.

2) Design and draw your buttons

  • Using the Circuit Scribe Stencil draw two pads at the top of the page for your input and Earth (aka ground) connections.
  • Use a conductive ink pen to draw a button that will connect the newly drawn pads in a way that you can complete the connection with your finger. As long as the circuit is able to be completed, you can make it look however you like!

hand drawn circuits with makey makey

3) Connect your cables

  • Using the connector cable modules, connect the Earth and input to each their inputs. The pads you first drew at the top of the page.
  • Now, duplicate the other hand-drawn button with the “← “input.
  • To test your connections, place your finger on your buttons and watch the LED on the Makey Makey board light up!

wired up makey makey using Circuit Scribe conductive ink

4) Lay down some tunes!

All you need to do now is to load up the Makey Makey bongos and play to your heart out! Now that you know the fundamentals of Makey Makey and Circuit Scribe, try experimenting with different button shapes, sizes and layouts. Furthermore, consider what other kinds of inputs you can design! If you enjoyed this simple electric circuit project, keep an eye out for our new drone and calculator builder kits!