CANCELED Workshop #311: Using Sensor Technologies to Introduce Secondary Education Students to Computational Thinking and Computer Science
7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Fri Mar 13, 2020


Bring computational thinking and middle school science to life with micro:bit, sensor technologies including temperature, sound, humidity, carbon dioxide, and soil moisture, and block based programming. Learn how to use these tools to make the invisible visible by collecting and visualizing data in real time through simple investigations such as measuring air quality and noise levels. No prior programming experience necessary. Participants will gain hands on experience working with the micro:bit, gator:bit, and alligator clippable sensors through the creation of a data visualizations using real time data collected using the sensors. In addition to creating and programming their own real time data visualizations, participants will be given access to a tested curriculum, making it easy to implement these ideas in the classroom immediately. The materials are targeted at middle school students, but could work with students in grades 4-10.

Equipment Required. Participants must bring a laptop or equipment.


This workshop will explore using school-based sensor technologies to bring computational thinking into middle school science and integrated STEM courses. Participants will learn how to introduce students to sensor technologies and support their understanding of how to use sensor technologies to "make the invisible, visible." We will use the sensor technologies to conduct a variety of short, real-world investigations, such as measuring air quality and noise levels using the available sensors. Teachers will largely play the role of students as they learn to program the sensor technologies, gather and analyze data, and create displays to share their findings. The workshop will use an open-access, one-week sensor immersion curriculum, and ideas for improvements will be solicited from by the group. No prior experience using sensor technologies or programming is needed.

Alexandra Gendreau Chakarov Graduate Student, University of Colorado Boulder
Quentin Biddy Research Associate, University of Colorado
Derek Runberg Strategic Partnerships, Sparkfun Electronics