Classroom Modules

On this page:

The modules listed below have been published in peer-reviewed journals and describe a classroom implementation of sensor building activities with associated guides for students and instructors. These ready-made classroom modules do not use the PublicSensors kits and the activities use different, but comparable, microcontrollers than the introductory PublicSensors activities on the website. However, these modules can be independently adapted for use with a variety of MicroPython- based microcontrollers depending on the needs and interests of the instructor.   

Connecting Chemistry Concepts with Environmental Context Using Student-Built pH Sensors

In this module, students build spectrophotometric pH sensors using readily available electronic components and calibrate them with known pH reference standards. Students then use their sensors to measure the pH of local environmental water samples.

This module was designed for high school students and is appropriate for grades 9-12. More advanced adaptations have been used in an intermediate-level undergraduate ocean technology course. The complete module description and implementation are published an available at Journal of Geoscience Education

Determining Bathymetry Using Student-Built Acoustic Sensors

This module introduces students to the concept and function of underwater acoustics using inexpensive and commercially available sensor building materials. The activity gives students experience with ocean sensors, with information and materials including:

  • Background on the history of echo sounding and the physics of underwater acoustics
  • Step-by-step instructions for construction and use of a simplified echosounder using readily available and inexpensive electronic conponents
  • Activity to explore the application of acoustics in ocean bathymetry and seafloor mapping by producing a map of acoustic soundings along a transect
  • Data exploration and evaluation of student data to explore implications of sampling resolution and understand sources of error

The module was designed for an intermediate-level undergraduate oceanography course and is appropriate for introductory through advanced undergraduate-level oceanography courses across a variety of disciplines, as well as for high school physics, technology, or marine science students.

The complete activity guide, handout materials, and extension activities are published and available at Oceanography:

Building and Calibrating an Analog Temperature Sensor

In this module, students assemble and calibrate a temperature sensor. This module builds off of the digital temperature sensor activity by having students use a thermistor in place of a digital sensor to build an analog temperature sensor. Using a series of water baths of varying temperatures, students will calculate the resistance of the thermistor as it changes with temperature and use those measurements to create a calibration curve.

The guide for the activity is divided into two components: