ISU Day at the Capitol 2019: Library tools transform everyday objects into extraordinary inventions

Mar 12, 2019

The Iowa State University Library is committed to innovation and providing students with the necessary resources to solve tomorrow’s problems today. In addition to the 2.3 million print volumes and 1.5 million eBooks accessible to students, the University Library provides a suite of other resources for check out, including Arduino, Raspberry Pi and Makey Makey — microcontrollers that facilitate interactions between computers and the physical world. Once the systems are connected, the invention kits tap into a world of endless possibilities. 

At ISU Day at the Capitol 2019, attendees got an inside look at the various ways that this technology can be used. With the guidance of Eric Schares, science and technology librarian, and Jesse Knight, junior in electrical engineering, guests were able to use the MakeyMakey kit to transform a standard banana into a space bar for a laptop. The kit comes with a board that looks like a classic Nintendo controller and a collection of clips and wires to connect it to anything conductive. This microcontroller can be used to transform coins into a drum set and more.

The hardware kits are popular among ISU College of Engineering students, and challenge users to create extraordinary inventions with ordinary everyday items. Visit the library guide to learn more about ArduinoRaspberry Pi and Makey Makey invention kits available for check out.