Eighth-graders at Bronxville Middle School have been working together to
create their own fully functional video game controllers made out of ordinary
objects, such as fruit, Play-Doh or tinfoil. The innovative project, which spans
several weeks, allows students to be creative and challenges them to invent new
Using Makey Makey – a circuit board invention kit that connects objects with
a computer and transforms those objects into touchpads, video game controller
buttons or mouse clicks – the students were able to turn their idea into reality.
“They adopted the roles of innovators and transformed from consumers of
technology to creators,” said technology teacher Kimberly Persaud, who introduced
the project to the students. “They had to think outside the box and use things that
they wouldn’t traditionally use to design something that had a real purpose.”
Eighth-grader Isabelle Kennedy said she enjoyed the creative process of
designing her own video game controller. She and her group used a graphite pencil
to sketch out four buttons on a piece of paper before connecting their device to the
Makey Makey with alligator clips to play a video game online.
“What’s great about the end product is that it takes all different forms,”
Persaud said. “No one student’s project is going to look the same. Previously, in
classes when we’ve done this, students have incorporated feet or cups of water to
control the video game.”
By the end of the school year, all eighth-graders will have designed a video
game controller. The challenging project encourages students to make discoveries
on their own, think critically and collaborate with classmates, which are skills
closely aligned with the dispositions of the Bronxville Promise.
To watch a video of the students creating their own video game controllers, visit the
district’s website at www.bronxvilleschool.org.
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