MadMaker is NOT running in 2019

Hi everyone,

Unfortunately MadMaker will not be running in 2019. If you would like to participate in similar resources, please sign up your students to the free resources provided by the Australian Computing Academy.

In particular, they have an Arduino course (free for years 3-8) that also uses the Arduino Esplora board. As well as lots of other coding resources.

For coding courses free for all high school students, take a look at the Cybersecurity courses, particular the encryption and network security courses, for challenging programming problems.

Thanks so much for participating in the Challenge! We had an absolute blast seeing all of the fantastic things your students made!

The MadMaker Team

MadMaker 2018 Competition Finalists


As our sponsor Pakronics said, these entries just keep getting better every year! Hats off to the teachers working tirelessly behind the scenes implementing cutting edge STEM coursework. Of course also a massive congratulations to the students students who have clearly gone above and beyond!

We hope everyone enjoys a well deserved holiday! Without any further ado...

MadMaker 2018 Competition Finalists

Honorary mention: Memory Mania - Parramatta High School

Memory Mania tests the player's memory by flashing some squares randomly placed on the canvas. Once the squares disappear, the player must select the correct squares by using buttons on the Arduino Esplora board in order to win. Too many misses can result in a loss.

3rd Place: Air Hockey - Chester Hill High School

Air Hockey is a 2D game designed for 4 players. It's purpose is for entertainment and boredom relieve. It is intended for players of all ages. Tired of using a keyboard, use the joystick, or accelerometer or switches (buttons) in you prefer retro as an input to move the paddles. We took a game of PONG written by previous students and modified it to make a more interesting and exciting game.

2nd Place : HSL-HSV Converter - Belridge Secondary College

This project is a colour selector prototype, designed as vision tracking software for a robot- specifically the Mars Rover. Using the buttons and slider on the Arduino to identify the object and colour range so that the selection of the object is possible. To distinguish items for the rover to collect.

2018 MadMaker Challenge Belridge SC from Petra Trinke on Vimeo.

1st Place: Particle Simulator - Parramatta High School

Using the Box2d module by Daniel Shiffman, This program allows the use of the Arduino's inputs to control various aspects of a particle simulation. This program was designed to entertain toddlers and infants, and uses only inputs which a toddler would be able to operate - not necessarily understanding how each input works.


Firstly huge thanks to Pakronics for continuing to support MadMaker! Pakronics aren't just another electronics re-seller, they care about pairing schools with STEM devices they will actually use. We originally found them because they offered the best prices on the mBOT. They are based in Victoria and also run teacher PD workshops.

Pakronics are passionate about STEM in highschools so if you're a fan of MadMaker, be sure to check them out!

I'm pleased to announce this year the prizes will be the Arduino based MAKERbuino kit!


We've already popped the hood on the traditional game controller with the Esplora, gaining insightful knowledge of how to control it as well as use several more advanced mechatronics sensors (sound, light, temperature and accelerometer).

With the MAKERbuino we're popping the hood even further to investigate the electronic components and solder the thing together from scratch! This will show how printed circuit boards are made and components are sourced to create products like the Esplora. Giving a deeper understanding of how modern digital products are produced en masse.


We can take the knowledge we have gained in Arduino to take this kit further. We can add whatever sensors and outputs we want to make it function for various purposes:


3rd Prize : Kit of 3
2nd Prize : Kit of 5
1st Prize : Kit of 10

Schools have until the 26th of November to upload a video about a project they have created in which the Esplora is communicating with Processing. This is also the final day for students to work on grades for the certificates. If your school signed up early in the week of 8/10, try to get the videos submitted by the 19th of November. You can submit up until the 26th but we will  take the extra time into consideration when judging.

Please let us know if you have any questions or comments! 
The MadMaker Team


Challenge 2018!

Huge thank you to everyone for joining up and supporting MadMaker! Still plenty of time if you're still in the process of signing up or looking to join later!


The final date to submit students grades for certificates will be the 26th of November - same as the final competition date. This should allow enough time to get certificates sent out to every state in term 4.

To do this you will need to go to Teacher Dashboard -> Grade Centre -> Generate Problem Grade Report. We will take the most recently generated report on the 26th of November.

Participation in the project based competition is not mandatory to receive certificates. Try to allow students around 3hrs a week for four weeks on the coursework for students to have a good shot at getting a certificate.

This is way earlier than last year! If you were a late joiner last year and can't make this date, let me know and we can likely organise a second round.

Teacher Workshops in WA

We will be in WA in less than 2 weeks! We are running free introductory programming workshops in collaboration with Google. The available workshops are:

5th Nov - Pinjarra Senior High School 245pm - 445pm
6th Nov - Atwell College 330pm - 530pm
7th Nov - Perth Modern School 330pm - 530pm
8th Nov - Thornlie Senor High School 330pm - 530pm
9th Nov - Midland Learning Academy 4pm - 6pm

Registration and more info available here.

WA Workshops! 2018 Challenge Start!

Welcome early starters! Also, starting next week is fine even if your school went back this week, which might be what you've done previously.

For everyone still on holidays we look forward to another challenge with you all and enrollment is open for Monday or earlier if you like!

Teacher Workshops in WA

We are coming to WA in November! Unfortunately the 2018 competition will be over at this point. Interstate workshops have been hard this year as MadMaker was busy working with USYD Widening Participation and Outreach to run some student workshops at underprivileged schools in NSW.

While the workshop does cover all things MadMaker it is mostly an introductory course in coding for the Arduino Esplora (hardware) and the Processing environment (software). You get a chance to program the Esplora in the company of an Arduino-oligist... also you can try it before you buy it!

The workshops are run in collaboration with Google and as such are free to attend! Thanks Google!

The available workshops are:

5th Nov - Pinjarra Senior High School 245pm - 445pm
6th Nov - Atwell College 330pm - 530pm
7th Nov - Perth Modern School 330pm - 530pm
8th Nov - Thornlie Senor High School 330pm - 530pm
9th Nov - Midland Learning Academy 4pm - 6pm

Registration available here.

If your school is keen to run a morning or afternoon session on one of these days, (depending on travel time), we usually aim for 7-15 teachers and prefer a room with a projector. Computers with Arduino and Processing installed are handy but if unavailable teachers can usually bring laptops. We provide Arduino Esploras for the session.

MadMaker Challenge 2018 starting soon!

The 2018 MadMaker Challenge is live and ready for registration in Week 1 or earlier if you wish.

The first week of coursework goes live to students on the 8th of October.

We realise many of you go back on the 15th, therefore:

If you go back on the 8th the competition due date will be the 19th of November.

If you go back on the 15th the due date will be the 26th of November. 

Prize packs to be announced shortly! To get an idea have a look at last years prizes or the year before.

Certificates will be mailed to students who achieve a passing grade or higher on the coursework. Also school participation certificates. The project-based competition portion is not compulsory to receive certificates, nor does it contribute to the grading.


How to prepare

Make sure students have access to the apps Arduino 1.6.6 (or greater) and Processing 3.0 (or greater) and the Arduino Esplora.

Student Registration:
If you are a new, register as a teacher. Then email us so we can verify you. No need if you have done this previously, you only need to be verified if you can't see the teacher dashboard. Once verified you can access the teacher dashboard where you can make a class group which you can invite students to and view their progress. You can either invite them through the teacher dashboard or email all your students your class code and ask them to register using it.

Additions to 2018:

  • Autograded coding problems

  • Code snippets load faster (no more time-outs)

  • Copy code to clipboard button for appropriate code snippets

  • No more problems registering repeat students 

  • No need for installing the processing sound library unless you're stuck with Internet Explorer

  • Faster loading speeds

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!