Digital Piano - SCOPES Digital Fabrication

Lesson Details

Age Ranges
Additional Contributors
Original Lesson Here

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Zaid Abusini
Zaid Abusini is an Electronics Engineer from Yarmouk university specialist in Electronics design (PCB and hardware) in addition to programming and prototyping. he joined the FAB-LAB Irbid team, Microsoft (Trainer), and worked as a freelancer designer for PCB and prototyping… Read More


This is an online workshop; focuses on introducing the Microcontroller to kids by giving a brief about it and giving them the chance to use it, besides, to interact with it using a funny way full of joy.

However, you won’t need to buy any physical component as long as this workshop is Online Which uses :

Arduino Microcontroller ( digital component )

TinkerCAD ( Open source platform “free” )

The Circuit Simulation

The Presentation



What You'll Need


Internet Access

TinkerCAD Account ( Free )

The Instructions

Computer (Introduction 1),(Ice breaking)

we want here to build a connection between what students know about computers to be reflected on Microcontroller so it can be easier for them to understand.

1- Try to give a brief about the computer such as ( the computer is a device process data according to our instructions ).

2- Don’t go deeper and try to give examples ( Laptops, calculators, Smartphones, etc…. )

3- If you feel that they are interacting and starving for more try to ask if any one knows the computer language ( Binary system “0,1”).

Input \ Output devices ( Introduction 2)

Here we want to briefly explain how the computer interacts with the environment especially us ( humans ); however, we are not expressing widely just mentioning the human senses and how it's similar to computer input devices. ( Real-life examples makes it much easier for them to understand).

1- Don’t go deeper just stay straight forward ask them about the human senses and you connect these senses with the input devices ( Eyes >>> Camera , Ears >>> Microphone) you can also mention output devices ( Mouth >>> Speaker )

2- If they are interacting you can mention that each computer have a brain like ours to process data.

3- The introduction should not take more than 5 min but it helps to attract their attention.

The Piano

This step is the most interacting one with kids as long as they are familiar with the piano and here we are just briefing not getting into details.


  1. start by asking them who knows the piano ( all of them knows rarely to find one doesn’t) “The piano is a mechanical instrument contain 88 keys”.
  2. Try to ask about the sound and how does this box generate such sound ( the answer is each key is connected to hammer and this hammer hits a string when its pressed; the hit cause the string to vibrate ) the under lined you can skip it and say “its because of the hit” but that depends on the kids reaction.



In this section, we want to show the kids the wave and how it is generated the best describe this phenomenon is the guitar strings.

Tell them that the strings in piano and guitar has the same working principle, Also this wave is the sound occurring after we hit the string.

  • The pictures shows the waves and how its being generated. (GIF pictures)


Cup and Phone String

In this experiment (Cup and Phone String) we were doing it in school to understand how the telephone works. It's a simple one contain 2 cups and a string connect both cups.

Here we just Remark what we have said before and encourage them to try it to understand how there sound are being collected in the cup and then transmitted by the string as a vibration ( wave ) then you can here it at the other side after the ear translate this wave into recognized sound.

Push Button ( input device )

In this section, we are going to describe what is meant by an input device and what it's the advantage of having it in the circuit.

1- Briefing what has mentioned before that these devices insert data to the microcontroller.

2- give one or two examples and try to encourage them to mention more.

3- try to build a connection with the piano that keys work as an input “they give the signal to the microcontroller to tell which tone be played”