Makey Makey Button - TIU11 STEM Initiatives

Information regarding TIU STEM activities

Switch – Make one!

Objective: Build a basic pressure sensitive switch
1. Gather your materials: 

Each person will start with…

  • 1 piece of cardboard (2″x6″)
  • 1 piece of aluminum foil tape (2″x6″)
  • 1 small piece of foam
  • 1 rubber band “Advantage Rubber Bands size #2 (3 x 1/8)
  • scissors (you might have to share these)
2. Cut cardboard into two pieces each measuring 2″x3″.
3. Cut aluminum foil tape into two pieces each measuring 2″x3″.

4. Attach aluminum foil tape to cardboard.

5. Cut two thin strips of foam.
6. Sandwich two foam pieces between the cardboard. Wrap with rubber band to keep the sandwich together.
7. Connect two alligator clips – one to the top piece of cardboard and one to the bottom piece. Make sure the alligator clips make good contact with the aluminum foil tape.
  • Green to “Earth” (aka “Ground”) on the Makey Makey
  • Red to “Space” on the Makey Makey
8. Squeeze to operate
  • Operate your switch (control the game) by squeezing the center of the switch and releasing.
9. Find and play a game
Google “one switch games” to find a game to play.
Here are a few one switch games to get you started:
10. BONUS: Once you’ve played a single switch game, partner with others and find games that require multiple switches. Connect your switches to the same Makey Makey. 
  • Example: Play TETRIS by connecting 4 switches to one Makey Makey.
11. BONUS: Watch the videos below.
A primer on DIY switches from The Tinkering Studio:


Different types of switches used to trigger a sound.

Switches used to activate sound


Variety of switches controlling games

How many of these buttons can you recreate using simple materials?