The Innovation Games

We will be at Sydney Olympic Park this Saturday at the Innovation Games as part of National Science Week and the Sydney Science Festival.
We will also have Zero Robotics representatives if you have any questions for us or want to see / have a play with the Esplora or the SPHERE robots, please do! Should be a great day, it's on this Saturday August 18 from 12pm to 530pm at Sydney Olympic Park.

Teacher Workshop today

We still have some spots at our teacher workshop at USYD today at 4pm so if you're interested signup here!! Or come to the next one on September 3rd!

February Update

CERTIFICATES are happening - If you want certificates for your students, make sure you have generated a grade report. You can do this in the grade centre by clicking generate grade report.

HOLIDAY COMPETITION SUBMISSION is open, scroll to the very bottom of the competition page for more details.

Here is Dr Karl having a play with the Esplora at the Zero Robotics Final! trying to get values of the accelerometer to read exactly 0 in x and y! Leading to discussions on Electromagnetic noise / interference. 


January update!

Another Competition!

Before we begin, MadMaker will be at the Zero Robotics finals this Thursday 11th of January at The University of Sydney. We will be demonstrating the MadMaker course with the Esplora boards so feel free to drop by if you want to see the boards in action. Stalls will be on approximately 9pm-10pm and you can register here.

As promised we will be holding another competition! This time it's for individuals instead of class groups. If you're an Australian High School student (or know one) check out all the details here! Thanks again to Pakronics for donating more great prizes.


Download the flyer here! 

This time prizes are to be awarded to individuals, not schools. The prizes are as follows:

3rd Prize: Raspberry Pi 3 Kit

A computer and a micro-controller in one! Control the internet of things (home lighting and automation), or simply use it as a computer! With a Raspberry Pi the uses are endless!

2nd Prize: The Mbot Robot

Assemble your very first driving robot! Watch it follow a line and avoid obstacles straight out of the box. Then program it to do your bidding!

1st Prize: Arduino & Sensors Kit

Sense and control the environment with this great bundle of sensors. Interface with the Arduino Uno (also included) using the simple Grove system. Pre-made cables mean professional circuits are easy with no complex wiring or soldering required! 

Happy holidays and we hope to see you at the Zero Robotics finals!




MadMaker 2017 Finalists

Before we get started, we're holding a student competition in January 2018! We are putting the call out for a processing app like a fun video game or a immersive digital artwork. This time students can take the prizes home!! Huge thanks again to Pakronics for donating some more great prizes which are as follows:

3rd Prize: Raspberry Pi 3 Kit

2nd Prize: The Mbot Robot

1st Prize: Arduino + Sensors Kit

More info will be released in January so either check back here or join the mailing list if you're interested.

Now onto the 2017 MadMaker Challenge finalist announcements. We had some fantastic entries this year that i'm really excited to finally share with everyone!

3rd Place: Shoot The Hoop

Bishop Druitt College, North Boambee Valley

The project, "Shoot The Hoop", is a basketball minigame designed to provide users with an opportunity to control a computer's inputs with an Arduino Esplora Board.

2nd Place: Shock Baby Temperature RAW XDPro

St Joseph's Regional College, Port Macquarie

Our project is designed to measure the temperature of a baby bath. The Esplora sends the temperature as an integer via the serial port. This temperature value is also used to change the RGB LED. Whilst the built in temperature sensor can be used for this we have used a waterproof thermometer connected to the tinkerkit pins. Our processing sketch reads the serial port and displays the temperature in three ways, text, graphically as a thermometer and changes images of emoji’s based around an ideal baby bath temperature of 37 degrees.

1st Place: P.A.R.C (Processing, Arduino, Remote Communication)

Parramatta High School, Parramatta

P.A.R.C., or Processing, Arduino, Remote Communication allows the Arduino to control any device that is capable of using the OSC standard of communication. In this case it is being used to control a Lego Mindstorms EV3 robot.

So Anish has developed a protocol for communications between the Esplora and the EV3 robots! Pretty advanced stuff and potentially very useful to the wider community as many schools have EV3 robots and Esplora Boards, perhaps if we ask Anish nicely we can get P.A.R.C onto GitHub for everyone to enjoy and develop!



Certificates are now available for students who scored over 50%. Students need to log into MadMaker 2017 and head to the progress page where they can request a certificate. Certificates can be viewed in html, printed to PDF and shared to Facebook.

Teacher Survey

In case teachers missed it or forgot, there is a post-challenge survey here that would help us prep for 2018 if you have 5 to 10 minutes spare.

How to follow us

You can sign up to the mailing list to receive information about free Teacher Workshops,  the online coursework and competitions. Also follow us on Twitter and Facebook :)

From everyone at MadMaker have a fantastic holidays and we will see you in 2018!


MadMaker 2017 Prizes announced!

Exciting news! We have three awesome prizes lined up for schools who come up with the best project. Huge thanks to our new sponsor Pakronics for supporting our cause and offering up some epic STEM related prizes. Pakronics are champions of STEM in high schools so if you're enjoying MadMaker please check them out!

Instructions for entering the challenge as well as a series of template projects will go live next week. The final date for schools to submit videos will be Friday the 24th of November.

3rd Prize

Micro:Bit class set of 12

The BBC Micro:bit is a pocket sized programmable computer for schools. It is jam packed with motion detection, a built-in compass, LED display and Bluetooth. It offers graphical programming as well as Python programming. More information can be found at: 

2nd Prize

Arduino + Grove System Kit set of 6

The Grove system is an eco-system of sensors and actuators with pre-made connectors, making it suitable for learning about processing physical environment data in the classroom, without any soldering involved. The exercise book includes range of projects to get familiar with coding for the device. Details of the Grove system can be found at:

1st Prize...

mBot with WiFi and rechargeable batteries set of six

mBot is a beginner robot kit from MakeBlock who offer a range of mechanical, electronics and robotics parts that could be used to design your own custom robot. Graphical and Arduino programming is available, providing a really fun way to learn programming by teaching your creation to do your bidding!!


So there you have it, three really exciting prizes you could be scoring for your school! Stay tuned for more details next week... until then, happy programming!!

May Update - Challenge Dates and Workshops

Things have been a little quiet on the MadMaker communication-front so far this year.

I can promise this is more due to overwork rather than lack-thereof, as we've developing a whole bunch of new features to roll out for MadMaker 2017 (I imagine you might want the students Arduino code auto-marked… more news on that when it actually works).

But I can announce the date for MadMaker 2017 is from:

9th October - 17th November

SA and Tas start on the 16th of October - so unfortunately they'll have one less week, but we are providing additional weeks of support. These are the official weeks of support.

Teacher Workshops

MadMaker is running a number of Teacher Professional Development in NSW this June with the Australian Computing Academy. Basically over two days the sessions will cover:

  • Integrating the Digital Technologies National Curriculum in your school
  • Free resources available for you to use
  •  Deep dive into digital technologies implementation

The workshops are free and are available for both primary and secondary teachers:

We have applied for 10 hours of PD accreditation through NESA for these sessions, hopefully it gets approved before they happen. I'll keep attendees updated on that as the workshops draw closer.

MadMaker Workshops

Regular MadMaker workshops will be running throughout August and September, with funding coming from Google CS4HS supporting these. If you would like for us to come to your area please get in contact. Specifically looking at regional centres we haven't visited yet. If you want to volunteer to host then please get in contact, ideally we would like 10-15 teachers to attend each session.

That's it for now - there are a large number of things in the pipeline and I'll be going back to giving monthly newsletters from now on.

MadMaker 2016 has Launched!

The MadMaker Challenge 2016 is live!! 


Please register yourself as a teacher and create a class code before your lessons this week. Generally speaking it should add you as a teacher automatically. But for some of you it hasn't done so, unfortunately. Once you enrol yourself in to the MadMaker Challenge course, if it doesn't let you in message us in the chat and we'll activate it for you.

See the video below for a walk-through!

Challenge Period

The dates of the Challenge - the 10th October to 18th of November is 6 weeks, but there's 5 weeks of content. An extra week for everyone to catch up, and work on your projects if you manage to keep up with the material each week.


When you login you should see 4 weeks of content. Students will only see Challenge 1 for the first week. You can look ahead and see what's coming up if you would like to prepare. A couple of activities will be added, and it needs an edit and I'll be adding videos as I finish editing them.

We really hope you enjoy it!


MadMaker 2016 - Win a 3D Printer!


The MadMaker Challenge starts in 11 days on October 10th! But what kind of competition has no prizes at the end? This year we are incredibly lucky to bring you some fantastic prizes for the classes that show us the best projects.

First Prize

We're really excited about this, first prize in an Ultimaker 2+ 3D printer valued at $3,899!!

The award winning Ultimaker 2+ is one of the best desktop 3D printers going around. Learn how to 3D model and make whatever you can imagine using this fantastic prize.

Provided by Imaginables! Please check them out for all your 3D printer needs.

Second Prize

A class set of Arduino Starter Kits, valued at over $1500. Keep your class moving on their Arduino adventure by using the starter kit to wire up a and program a whole range of projects!

Third Prize

A 1-year All-Access subscription to Grok Learning for your whole class!


Learn to program python in the browser using Grok's fantastic auto-marking system. Kindly provided by our friends at Grok Learning! I highly recommend checking them out, it's free for teachers to have a look at their content and give it a go!

How do I win?

Winners will be judged on a video they produce of their final projects in the final week. One video per class, so pick a project and produce a video demonstrating what it does. That's it! Details of how to submit the video will be posted during the Challenge.

2016 Grants and Workshops

Grant Applications are now open to schools for the 2016 MadMaker Challenge, starting on October 10th 2016. 

Grants are much more limited this year, and applications will be based on a combination of the proposal and the socio-economic status of applicant schools.

You can apply at the grant application form page.

2016 Workshops are kicking off around the country in the coming Term. You can see currently scheduled workshops over at the workshops page. If your city is not listed, the please get in contact and I will try and make every effort to come to you.

MadMaker 2016 Challenge Date Announced!


We are pleased to announce that the MadMaker Challenge will again run in 2016, starting on the 10th October 2016. 

Some differences from last year are:

  • The challenge will be written for 5 weeks of classroom delivery
  • The start date implies this date will be placed in either weeks (0*-3) of school term 4, depending on the state and sector. (*week before term starts)
  • To adjust for these differences, the official weeks of the challenge will operate (with live tutor support) for 6 weeks. So the official period of the challenge will be from: Monday 10th October until Friday 18th November 2016.

For teachers wishing to re-run 2015's course in terms 1-3, please contact us for info on how to get yourselves setup. 

Teacher training workshops for the MadMaker Challenge will run in Term 3.

Join our mailing list to keep posted for when our registrations will open and for official workshop dates.