I2P Makey Makey Balance Board Challenge


What is Makey Makey?

Makey Makey is a simple invention that turns everyday objects into control keys for programming. Using the Makey Makey board, alligator clips, and a USB cable, the Makey Makey can hook up to the computer’s Scratch program and read the program from there. Makey Makey is designed for everyone who is willing to apply their creativity to engineering.

Which programs can you use to program a Makey Makey?

In most cases, people use Scratch to program a Makey Makey. Scratch is graphical programming software that is easy to use — click here for the link.

Other projects you could create with Makey Makey.

I would create a piano out of different everyday items, such as coins or pens. If I finished that, I would try to create a control pad for game such as Tetris.

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What went well?

Our simple Scratch program worked and succeeded in resetting the timer whenever the balance board touched the ground. We also managed to create a scoreboard for recording down the seconds that the user managed to stay on the balance board.

What didn’t go so well?

The aluminium foil on the balance board and on the floor kept ripping because people were walking over it or we were handling it too roughly. This caused the circuit to cut off at some times and caused the program not to work. This video was recorded after someone ripped one side of the aluminium foil, so one side of the balance board did not work so well. We fixed it afterwards by using new aluminium foil.

What improvements can you make if you had more time in the lesson?

With time, I think we could’ve recorded down the top three scores. Currently, the computer just lists out the times that the user gets, but it doesn’t sort the scores into top 3. Also, the program right now doesn’t have a stop. If I had more time in the lesson, I would add a stop to after 10 or so tries, and then list out the top 3 scores within those 10 tries.

Local Winds

During the day, the sun heats up both the oceans and the land. Both land and water are good heat absorbers, but the water is a slower absorber then the land, and so the land soaks up more heat, causing low pressure over the heated air above the land. Because the water has colder air then the land above the seas, then the colder air attracts the higher pressure. During the day, the cycle continues, as the low pressure moves on to the seas, then it turns into higher pressure because of the colder air. When the higher pressure gets to the land surfaces, then it becomes lower air pressure because of the heated land. The sea breeze is the wind that carries the higher pressure to land, causing it to drop down into lower pressure.

During the night, the whole cycle reverses. Because the land is a good and fast absorber of heat, it also releases heat faster then the oceans. When it comes to night, and the sun stops heating the waters and the lands, the lands quickly release all the heat that they absorbed during the day, becoming cooler to touch since in the day, it would be burning hot if you touched the heated ground. While the land releases the heat, the waters do the opposite. It keeps the heat longer, releasing it slower and steadier so that the water temperature would be more then the land temperature. Since the oceans are more heated then the lands, then the lower pressure would become attracted to the oceans, while the higher pressure settles among the land areas, where the air is colder. The cycle continues, just as it does at day, but with the reversed way. Land breezes would be the wind blowing the low pressure air from the seas to the lands, where it becomes higher pressure.

Coriolis Effect Reading


1. What is the Coriolis effect?

The reason why the winds and currents in the Northern hemisphere turn right and the winds and currents turn left in the Southern hemisphere

2. What is subject to the Coriolis effect?

The winds and the ocean currents. The Coriolis effect causes the winds and ocean currents to steer in one direction depending on which hemisphere.

3. What is the direction of deflection in the Northern Hemisphere?

In the Northern hemisphere, the Coriolis effect makes objects turn right, or clockwise. So the direction of deflection would be counter-clockwise, or left.

4. What is the direction of deflection in the Southern Hemisphere?

In the Southern hemisphere, the Coriolis effect makes objects turn left, or counter-clockwise. So the direction of deflection would be clockwise, or right.

5. What happens if pilots do not correct for the Coriolis effect?

Then their route would veer one way depending on the hemisphere. If they were in the Northern hemisphere, they would veer completely off track towards the right side. If they were in the Southern hemisphere, they would veer completely off track towards the left side.

Heat Transfer: Conduction, Convection and Radiation


  • Conduction is the transfer of thermal energy between particles of matter that are touching.
  • Transfer of thermal energy is called heat
  • Conduction is one of three ways that thermal energy can be transferred.
  • The particles of all matter are in constant random motion
  • Particles of warmer matter have more energy and move more quickly than the particles of cooler matter
  • Thermal energy moves through matter
  • In the example of freshly baked cookies, the cookie sheet transfers thermal energy to the cookies that make them bake
  • Some examples of conduction: Cup of hot drink, a hot iron, camp stove



  • Convection is the transfer of thermal energy by particles moving through a fluid (either a gas or a liquid)
  • Convection is one of three ways that thermal energy can be transferred
  • When particles in one area of a fluid gain heat, they more more quickly, have more collisions, and spread farther apart
  • Result: decrease in the density of the particles
  • Particles rise up through the fluid, when they transfer their thermal energy to other particles of the fluid and cool off in the process
  • With cooler temperature, the particles sink back to the bottom because of increased density
  • The cycle repeats after, and this cycle is called the convection current
  • Examples of convection: the water cycle


Thermal Radiation:

  • Thermal radiation is the transfer of thermal energy by waves that can travel through air or even through empty space
  • Thermal radiation helps the sun’s heat reach earth
  • From a fire, radiation goes through the air and onto your hands, warming your hands
  • Thermal radiation is one of three ways that thermal energy can be transferred
  • Radiation is the only way of transferring thermal energy that doesn’t require matter
  • Everything radiates thermal energy, even objects that aren’t very warm.
Conclusion Questions:
Why are metals good conductors of heat?
All types of metal have running free electrons. Electrons are the tiny stuff that make up atoms, that make up most of the world. Metals have molecules and electrons running free within them. When heat reaches them, the heat makes both the molecules and the electrons run wilder. When the electron gets infected by the heat, and it touches a molecule, the molecule would also be start to heat up. With the electrons to speed the heating process up, metals make good conductors of heat.
Why does hot water and air rise?
When water or air is heated, the molecules of the fluid  start moving around much faster, and so the density of the fluid decreases until it becomes less dense then water around them or the air around them. When things are less dense then water, they float. It all follows the Principle of Buoyancy, which is: “Objects immersed in a liquid are buoyed up by a forced equal to the weight of liquid displaced.” This means that when the buoyant force is greater then the force of gravity, then the object would float. Same with heavier objects. When the force of gravity is greater then the buoyant force, then the object would sink. In this case, because of the Principle of Buoyancy, when water or air is heated, it rises or evaporates.
Describe how thermal radiation is transferred from a campfire to you.
Since heat itself is a form of energy, and energy can move through any distance, then it means that heat can also move through any distance. Heat or energy have different ways of releasing themselves into the world, and one way is the thermal radiation. The heat becomes heat waves (if it’s hot enough) or just radiation waves and reach out to anything around it. As soon as it separates far enough from the heat source, then the waves (if it’s not hot enough) would dissolve into the air. If it does hit the object around it, then the object would feel warm because of the heat that the heat source is providing. In this case, the heat source is the campfire and the object that is in it’s range would be you.
Conduction = Solids.
Conduction is the process where molecules inside solids are heated up so that they release heat when something touches it. For example, when you’re stirring something over a stove with a metal spoon, and you leave it there for a few minutes, then you would realise that when you come back, the metal spoon is a lot more hotter. This is because of conduction. Conduction not only can happen to solids’ molecules, but also to liquids or gases. Metal especially is good conductor of heat because of the free electrons that are running all around. Conduction can happen to liquid or gas because when you conduct liquid, you’re warming the particles inside the liquid into gas, on which liquid becomes gas and gas dissolves into the atmosphere.
Convection = Liquid
Convection is mostly to do with the Principle of Buoyancy. When the liquid is heated at the bottom, it causes the hot fluids to rise up because the buoyant forces would be greater then the gravity force (since the density of the fluid has decreased). Then when the fluid starts to go away from the heat, then the gravity force would take over and then dragging it back to the bottom where the cycle starts over again. Convection is best for only liquids and gases, since both of those have rather loose molecules, much more free then solids. So when the hot fluids go up, they don’t get stuck like solids, or rather the molecules cannot exactly move in solid mode. Both liquid and gas are fluids, and convection only really happens for fluids.
Radiation = Gases
‘Radiation’ comes from the Latin word ‘radius’ meaning ‘spoke of a wheel’. Radiation can be strongly seen in deserts, when it’s hot enough to make heat waves ripple in the air. Each source of heat radiates heat, even humans. Radiation only happens mostly through the air. There’s a common question: How does the sun’s heat reach us if the sun is so far away? As we know, heat itself is a form of energy, and energy can move through any distance. So that means heat can move through any distance, which is really how the sun’s heat reaches us. The sun radiates heat just like any other heat source so that the waves reach us. For the heat waves to reach that far, the heat source has to be really strong like the sun. Radiation waves are commonly seen in the air around us, where the energy from one heat source travels in waves to another object.


Solubility Lab #2 Questions

1. Do you think that the air in your classroom is a homogeneous or a heterogeneous
mixture? Explain your answer. Think: Can you breathe in all parts of the room?
Does the air smell the same in all parts of the room? Is the air temperature the same
in all parts of the room? Can you light a candle in all parts of the room?

I think the air in the classroom is heterogeneous because when a person breathes, they breath the air out of your lungs, which might mix in your DNA or any other unique cells of yourself. That means the air is mixed with different kind of air, and the fact that anyone can release any kind of other gas into the air so it smells or looks different. The air from outside would also make it heterogeneous for the air outside includes many other scents.

2. Scientists call water the universal solvent. Are all substances soluble in water?
Support your answer.

No. As done in the Solubility #2 lab, barium Sulfate, iron oxide, iron nitrate, potassium sulfate is not dissolvable in water, no matter how long you stir.

3. Use the vocabulary from this inquiry to complete the following statements.

Your father stirs a teaspoon of sugar into his coffee every morning. In this example,
the water in the coffee is the __________ and the sugar is the __________ .
The sugar is soluble/insoluble (choose one) in the water. The coffee is an example of
homogeneous/heterogeneous (choose one) mixture.

Explain why you think coffee is the type of mixture you chose.

Your father stirs a teaspoon of sugar into his coffee every morning. In this example, the water in the coffee is the solvent and the sugar is the solute. The sugar is soluble in the water. The coffee is an example of homogeneous mixture. Coffee is a homogeneous mixture because you can dissolve the sugar into the coffee so that you don’t see the little specks of sugar when you dissolve it in, but that you can still taste the sugar. Plus, sugar is a really soluble substance (You can stir in hundreds of teaspoon of sugar, but still the solution would not saturate).

Solubility Curves – Notes

  • Saturated: Describes a solution that has dissolved the maximum amount of solute
  • Unsaturated: Describes a solution that has a less than the max amount of solute dissolved
  • Supersaturated: Describes a solution that has dissolved more than the maximum amount of solute, reached by heating then cooling
  • On a graph, the saturated line is in the middle, the unsaturated is below and the supersaturated is above
  • Solute – how much of a solid dissolves
  • The zone below the saturated curve is unsaturated
  • The zone above the saturated curve is supersaturated
  • Colder water holds less solute
  • Hotter water holds more solute
  • For salt, both cold and hot water has the same saturated solute
  • For salt, the solubility curve is flat
  • All substances have different solubility curves
  • Some solubility curves go down (it means that it’s more soluble at lower temperature)
Concentration = grams of solute / millilitres  of solvent

Separating Solutions

Describe the physical properties of the substance that remains in the evaporating dish.

The leftover salt looks a bit powdery, with fine particles that don’t look like the original table salt.
Where is the water that was in the salt water solution?

In the air. The water vapour is the water that was in the salt water solution because the heat added to it makes evaporate.
What do you think the substance is that remained in the evaporating dish?

It’s the same as the original salt, it’s just in a different form after the heat was added.
What could you do to identify the substance?

You could test the density of the substance and match it with a known substance.

1. Explain why scientists would classify cereal as a heterogeneous mixture.

Cereal includes different foods such as the wheat cereal, the fruits, the milk, and much more. Cereal is not a solution because the solute (the cereal) does not dissolve into the solvent (the milk).

 2. After a minor traffic accident, the police noticed that a solution had spilled and run off

the roadway onto the shoulder of the road. Describe how you could recover a

sample of this solution from the dirt, rocks, and sand on the road’s shoulder.

You could scoop up the solution from the road, and run it through the desalination system, so hopefully when the solution boils, the dirt, rocks and sand would be separated, and the vapour of the solution would become the full solution. To see exactly what solution it is, you could test out the density and match it with one of the substances available.

3. When a scientist mixed together a number of substances, light, heat, and gas were

produced. The scientist could not separate the new substance using physical

properties like solubility, density, or color. Did the scientist create a mixture, or did

she produce something else? Explain how the product she produced was like and/or

different from the homogeneous and heterogeneous mixtures you have used.

What this scientist made was a compound, a solution or substance that is chemically bound together. By mixing together a number of substances, the scientist created a new substance that included light, heat and gas. Similar to how water is made (by two gases, oxygen and hydrogen bounded together), the result of this substance mix was not expected. When you make a compound, it’s like making a homogeneous or heterogeneous mixture at the same time. The atoms of a same substance can be chemically bound to form a compound, but atoms of the different substances can also be chemically bound to form a compound.

Mixtures and Solutions Video Notes

  • Mixtures are two substances that are physically mixed together
  • Salad dressing – Oil and Vinegar
  • Don’t mix well, separate, can be filtered
  • Oatmeal + Fruit (Easily separated from cereal)
  • Solution – a mixture where one substance spreads evenly throughout another
  • All solutions are mixtures
  • All mixtures are not solutions
  • Kool-Aid is a solution and mixtures because the powder dissolves into the solvent
  • Cereal is only a mixture because the fruit does NOT dissolve into the solvent
  • Things that you can separate easily
  • Charcoal + Water = Mixture
  • Over time, mixture will settle out
  • Distillation is used to separate solutions
  • Milk is both a mixture and solution
  • Milk is a mixture before pasteurising
  • Milk is a solution as a final product
  • Immiscible means it’s not soluble in water
  • Food colouring and water mix, but food colouring and oil do not mix


Compound & Mixtures Video Notes

  • Join together two elements to create a compound
  • Chemical reaction create bonds between atoms
  • Mix two elements to make a mixture (not chemically joined, so easier to separate)
  • Atoms bonded together are molecules
  • Atoms of same element can join to form molecules
  • Compounds are two or more atoms of different elements that are chemically bounded together (ie. sulfur and iron)
  • Compounds can have different properties due to component elements (Hydrogen and oxygen = water)
  • Mixtures are elements that are physically, not chemically, joined

Solubility Reading

  • Solubility is the amount of solute that can dissolve in a fixed amount of solvent at fixed temperature
  • Substances with greater solubility can dissolve more in a solvent
  • Solute is solid or liquid or gas.
  • Increased temperature means decreased solubility level
  • Pressure is the force pushing against a given area
  • Increased pressure on a gas increases solubility (ie. Soda contains dissolved carbon dioxide, that’s why it fizzes out of the can


Solubility Questions


1. How does Mr. Anderson define solubility in the video?

Solubility is the measure of how easy it is for a solute to dissolve in a solvent.

 2. What is the solubility of talc in 100ml of 25Celscius water? Explain why talc has this solubility.

Talc is insoluble. The water, or the solvent, can’t make a solution with a solute like talc. Because water is good at breaking down solids that are charged, and talc is not a charged, talc and water cannot mix together to become a solution.

3. Describe how increasing temperature affects the solubility of solid and liquid solutes.

When you increase temperature, you add energy to the molecules inside the substance. With the faster moving molecules, more solute can be dissolved inside the solvent because the molecules can easily surround the solute.