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!


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!