This past Friday (September 27th) we were invited to participate in the 2013 Biolympics. This event hopes to inspire students in grades 7 and 8 to take an interest in biotechnology – 20 teams from school around London competed in challenges hosted by different community and business leaders.
Tech Alliance (the organizers of this event) were gracious enough to invite our team to plan one of the challenges.
Our event was “Controller Chaos.” Using two Makey Makey’s and an assortment of fruits, vegetables, and house-hold goods two teams were given 10 minutes to design, build, and test their very own home-made video game controller. Once their controllers were finished, the teams were given 5 minutes to go head-to-head playing Tetris. Points were awarded for creativity and design of controllers and for their Tetris high scores.
I wish that I had the chance to take more pictures during the event, because the intense looks the students had on their faces while playing Tetris were fantastic.
Our event was designed to use two things that many students love (video games and competition) to teach fun lessons about how circuits and conductivity work. If you’re not familiar with a Makey Makey, it’s a small circuit board that connections to your computer. Wires attached to the Makey Makey can be attached to anything that conducts electricity to be used as buttons for your computer. But because the buttons only work if the person pressing the button is part of the circuit, the students had to make sure they had built complete circuits if their controllers were going to work.
I had a wonderful time at this event, and I was honoured when several teachers came to make after class and told me how much their students enjoyed our event.
I’d like to thank everyone who contributed their time and passion to making this event a success.