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FunKey Plug-and-Play STEM Learning Tools

March 7, 2018

What does STEM learning look like in your school? ype ofhe team at FunKey have developed fantastic resources for students and educators. You might already be familiar with STEM learning tools like the Makey Makey. FunKey has a handful of affordable plug-and-play products for STEM, science, invention, physical computing and coding.

STEM Learning Tools

The FunKey Super is a STEM learning system with sensors and outputs that include a coding interface for Scratch, Blockly and Javascript. It also has the ability to connect with popular tools like GarageBand. The FunKey has multiple modes built in along with keystroke input using sensors. There are direct input/output connections for up to eight pairs of analog input sensors and output components including LEDs, buzzers, and servo motors.

With FunKey you can use battery-power for independent input/output mode and use it to control a servo motor directly. The sensors available include IR breakbeam, light,  touch, tilt, distance, temperature, heartbeat, push button, and joystick.

The FunKey Super is a complete learning system that lets students use plug and play modes. Students and teachers can start off simple and work all the way to full Arduino programming. The FunKey Super includes preloaded software so it works right out of the box. The easy startup learning stages means you don’t have to know how to code to jump in.  

In addition to the FunKey Super there is the FunKey Simple. The FunKey Simple has “Banana Piana” type of functionality along with supporting 18 keystrokes, more than two octaves for a fruit piano. It can be easily reconfigured to any keystrokes using the simple app. It is also touch sensitive using fingers, aluminum foil, fruit, and more.

The FunKey boards come with individual micro USB cables. The sensors and outputs for FunKey Super are separate in three different kits. As described above, The FunKey board comes in two varieties: FunKey Simple (alligator clips “banana piana”) and FunKey Super (sensors, inputs and outputs, coding with Scratch, Javascript, stand-alone battery-powered inventions, and more).

STEM Kickstarter Campaign

In addition to the STEM products you can purchase straight from their website, the team at FunKey also has a Kickstarter campaign. FunKey’s Kickstarter campaign gives you an opportunity to support their growth while also getting your hands on different FunKey packages. This is a great way to secure additional sets of sensors for a school or STEM program. Or you can purchase a classroom pack. Their project page also includes more information on how FunKey is used in classrooms.

FunKey’s website has lots of ideas for using these tools with students as well as different options for purchasing their STEM learning tools. You’ll find activity ideas including DIY Game Controllers, invention projects and science exploration.

When it comes to science and discovery experiments, you can use FunKey with simple materials. For example you might have students dive into scientific principles or measure the speed and acceleration of moving objects. Students can experiment with pendulum dynamics or even make an anemometer for wind speed measurements – the possibilities are endless!

Head over to FunKey’s website to get started or click here to learn more about their KickStarter campaign!

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Dr. Monica Burns is a former classroom teacher, Author, Speaker, and Curriculum & EdTech Consultant. Visit her site for more ideas on how to become a tech-savvy teacher.

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