Kayoe On The Go! Interactive Art Project

In this project, Gracie and I took advantage of our visit to Toronto to spend time with family and created an interactive painting using Makey Makey paired with Scratch coding language.

It has been far too long since we have visited our Toronto family and we wanted to leave them with a gift that will allow them to stay connected with Gracie even when we are not visiting.

Gracie has always been very artistic and creative. This obviously has lead to her connection to the maker mentality. Makerspaces have become yet another place for her to create and express herself using a wider range of tools and equipment (as a true makerspace should be). Through this project she was able to combine her knowledge of circuits and coding with her love of art to produce something that her family truly appreciated. Yet another example of how technology and coding are a useful and expressive tool.

Much like a lot of our challenges, this project is full of cross-curricular connections.

Coding and Circuits:

Once again, we were applying our knowledge of circuits and coding skills to create Gracie’s interactive artwork. The simple design of the Makey Makey and the versatility of the Scratch programming language made it easy to imbed technology into this project helping her express herself in more ways than if she only had her paints and canvas.


The focus of this project was for Gracie to work on something that she could express herself with. Naturally for her this came in the form of painting a picture for her family to enjoy. Gracie used paint as her medium of choice but who’s to say that another person couldn’t use something else to express themselves such as clay or paper art. Making the medium open-ended allows for more opportunities to be more creative and unique.

Language Arts

Something that came as an added bonus was the fact that Gracie could tell a story through her project. Writing has always been a passion of hers. If she’s not writing in one of her four journals (because apparently you need different ones depending on what you’re writing about), she is composing her own stories and plays on her typewriter. After playing around with a few different ideas, she eventually decided to write something that related to her painting and involved our family in Toronto.

Expanding Their “Toolbelt”

Although the Kayoe On the Go video series has been an amazing experience so far for us, this was the first time that Gracie actually created something to give to someone else. Every other project we worked on this summer was equally as rewarding but this one meant something different to her. It was obvious that her grandfather and her auntie Mia were impressed with her ingenuity and very thankful. This made Gracie feel very proud of her creation and showed her how she can make a difference in the lives of others with these skills. In then end, along with writing, drawing and performing, she now knows that coding is part of her creative ‘toolbelt’.

Maker Mentality

Throughout this summer Gracie and I have proven that the makerspace is not just a room that is set up in your school with a lot of technology and tools. We really tried to reinforce the idea that the makerspace can be anywhere, even the campground. What we at Brilliant Labs really try to emphasize through our extensive support system, is that the main ingredient in the makerspace recipe is a maker mentality. The focus is not necessarily on the technology but on providing the opportunity to use any type of tool you see fit to create a unique and defining asset of your own. At the heart of the maker mentality is two simple words – Why not? With the proper support, the answer to any question should always be “Why not?” In other words, anything is possible. We may not have the knowledge needed to tackle that particular challenge or the right tools but it’s nothing that time, dedication and a proper support system can’t change.

So from our family to you: Go, make and let your creativity take you where it may!

Interactive Painting Project: Introduction

Adding the Makey Makey to the Art

Coding the Makey Makey using Scratch

Gracie reveals her Interactive Art Project to her grandfather

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