Fun With Buttons! 3 Step-by-Step Projects for Your Classroom

Last weekend SparkFun visited the Girls & Science event at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, where we unveiled our newest interactive arcade game, the Button Bopper! 

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The design of the Button Bopper is actually pretty simple. We took 16 Big Dome Pushbuttons, hooked them up to an Arduino, then displayed the score on a 7-segment display (the kind used in calculators). 

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The Button Bopper is just one example of the great projects that can be made with electronics' most basic input: the button. To learn the basics of using buttons, read this in-depth tutorial, then come back for some great project ideas using buttons.

1. Program Your Own Quiz Buzzer

Using a few buttons and a Makey Makey you can make your own quiz buzzers. Follow these step-by-step instructions to mount the buttons in a cardboard box, then program the quiz game in Scratch.

2. Create a Reaction Timer Game

Have a SparkFun Inventor's Kit? You can use the parts in your kit to make a fun single-button game to test your reaction time. Press the button as fast as you can after the LED turns on, and your reaction time will be shown on the display. You can find instructions for making your reaction time on InventorSpace.

3. Build a Digital Trumpet 

Ever wanted to make your own digital instrument? What about a digital instrument that also teaches how to count in binary? Check out this tutorial for building your own “Binary Trumpet,” a three-button digital instrument that translates binary numbers into notes on the musical scale.

Want to learn more? Check out InventorSpace for more fun project ideas.