Quiz Buzzer with ShaKey


Do you like quizzes? Make quiz-time fun with a quiz buzzer!

We'll make a Quiz Buzzer with cardboard, play-doh, two alligator clips and the ShaKey. It will be programmed in Scratch to play two different sounds, as well as animations.

Complete this guide to make a simple quiz buzzer.

Parts Used in This Guide

ShaKey Standard Kit


Step 1  Gather materials

For this simple quiz buzzer project, we'll need:

  • A cardboard box
  • Playdoh
  • Alligator Clips
  • ShaKey board

Step 2  Poke two holes on the top side of the box

To attach the alligator clips to the buttons, we'll need to poke two holes on the top side of the cardboard box.

Step 3  Create play-doh buzzer buttons

Next, grab play-doh of two colours and roll them into a ball. Flatten them out and place them where the holes are.

Step 4  Attach alligator clip to play-doh

Now attach an alligator clip through the hole, into the play-doh button.

Do the same for the other play-doh button.

Step 5  Connect the other end of alligator clips to ShaKey

Next, attach the other end of the alligator clips to 'Up' and 'Down' on the ShaKey as shown.

Step 6  Poke a hole for USB connection

You can put the ShaKey in the cardboard box, and poke a hole through for the USB connection.

Step 7  Buzzer sound using Scratch

Now let's get started with programming the ShaKey!

  • Connect ShaKey to your computer. 
  • Next, open up the Scratch editor and start a new project.
  • Add sprites. We've chose a penguin, cat, and a dog. 
  • Click on 'Penguin 2', or whichever sprite you'll like to use. This is the sprite where we'll add the main scratch blocks.
  • Drag and drop 'when ... key pressed' block. Change it to 'up arrow'. 
  • Then in 'Control' tab, get a 'stop ... ' block and change it to 'stop other scripts in sprite. 
  • Get a 'play sound ... until done' block. 
  • Then get a 'stop all' block from 'Control' tab.
  • Make a copy of all the blocks you've just put together. 
  • Change 'when ... key pressed' to 'when down arrow key pressed' for the new set of blocks
  • Then change 'play sound ... until done'. You can get more sounds by clicking on the 'Sounds' tab on the top left-hand corner.

Step 8  Scratch animation

Your scratch program should look something like the picture shown. Why don't we add some animations? 

Let's make the cat or dog say 'I know!'

If the 'Up' input button is pressed, let's set the dog barking sound to play and the dog to say 'I know!'

Likewise, if the 'Down' input button is pressed, we'll set the meowing sound to play and the cat to say 'I know!'

  • Click on the 'Dog1' sprite
  • 'In 'Events' tab, add a 'when ... key pressed', change it to 'when up arrow key pressed'. 
  • Then in 'Looks' tab, get out a 'say ... for ... seconds' block. Change it to 'say 'I know' for 0.25 seconds'
  • Copy these blocks.
  • Click on the 'Cat' sprite
  • Paste the copied blocks in the blank space
  • Change the 'when ... key pressed' block to 'when down arrow key pressed'

Download the complete Scratch code here: Quiz-Buzzer-ShaKey.sb3

Now try tapping on the quiz buzzer play-doh buttons! Can you think of other ways to program it, or how about adding extra buttons?