Makey Makey Piano

Makey Makey piano: where a fifth is a literal leap.


  • Makey Makey Classic
  • Computer
  • Copper Tape
  • Aluminum foil
  • 11×17 paper (6 sheets)
  • Black construction paper
  • Double-sided tape


  1. Each 11×17 sheet becomes one of the keys. I used aluminum foil to make a large conductive area, and copper tape to connect the foil to the alligator clips.
  2. Set the six keys in a row, and tape to the ground. Add black construction paper to represent the black keys.
  3. Connect to the Makey Makey using the alligator clips, and load the the Makey Makey piano app. If you have never used Makey Makey before, the How To page is a great introduction.


  • It did work with shoes on, but there was more wear and tear on the keys.
  • A lot of kids wanted to just use their hands.
  • It’s a big leap to play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.


Instant Replay

Jake: But Miss! She pushed me first. I want you to review this.

Fictional Jay Bilas: The librarians are going to the instant replay station to see who pushed whom in violation of the library’s policy.

As a reminder, the library’s behavior policy bans disruptive and unsafe behavior, including hitting, pushing and shoving. This should be an easy decision, but let’s check in with our expert, former Head Librarian Joyce, in New York.

Joyce: It should be a fairly simple decision in terms of whether or not the action violated the policy, but it’s hard to say whether Sarah pushed or shoved Jake. That could affect her ability to further appeal this decision but both parties should be sent home for the day.

Jay: Thanks, Joyce. Back to the Head Librarian in the library for the call.

Head Librarian: After reviewing the incident, there are two penalties here. On person #1, a one-day suspension for pushing. On person #2, also a one-day suspension for pushing in the library.

The penalties do *not* offset, and all parties need to leave for the remainder of the day.

Jay: And there you have it. Let’s take a look at the teen section to check in on today’s Minecraft scores.


The Adventures of Rexy and Blue, Part 2

The next installment to The Adventures of Rexy and Blue!

You asked for more, and I just kept writing! My research is getting weaker as the night progresses. There’s only so much Wikipedia I can read in one night.

(Want to learn about dinosaurs with me? There’s a MOOC starting in January!)

Continue reading “The Adventures of Rexy and Blue, Part 2”


A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Thanksgiving

Two-lane roads are kind of my thing. I’ve been driving on backroads since I first got my license, and even now, I’ll usually choose the farm-lined route over the interstate. Driving to my parents’ house for Thanksgiving was no exception.

Despite my vast experience, I have two serious fears:

  1. Someone popping up in my backseat
  2. Getting followed

#1 is ridiculous, unless one is in a horror movie.

#2 has happened a few times. It’s usually pretty unremarkable. Not so much tonight.

Google Maps chose the zigzag route, and once the sun went down, it was pretty easy to miss the turns, and I flew by one. There was a grain elevator about half a mile up, and I turned around and headed back. But there was a white pickup truck parked along the side of the road with its lights on, and when I passed it on my way back, it pulled out behind me. Cue panic.

In town, you can just turn a lot and eventually lose the possible stalker. With six miles before the next turn, there’s only one option – brights on, pedal down, and run like hell. If the roads are clear and traffic is light, you just might shake them. And I did. But oof, what an experience for the last hour of a long driving day.