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Making Sense of Sensors

Lesson Focus 
Lesson focuses on how sensors are used in many applications to gather information about our environment. This lesson focuses on the hygrometer, a sensor used to measure humidity. Through this lesson, students work in teams to design and build a hygrometer out of everyday items to measure humidity levels. The student hygrometers are not meant to be exact, but are expected to indicate a change. Students select from everyday items to build their hygrometer, test their machine using a spray bottle to increase humidity, evaluate the effectiveness of their system and those of other teams, and present their findings to the class.

Age Levels:

8 - 18
Objectives 
  • Learn about engineering design.
  • Learn about instrumentation.
  • Learn about planning and construction.
  • Learn about teamwork and working in groups.
Anticipated Learner Outcomes 

As a result of this activity, students should develop an understanding of:

  • engineering design
  • problem solving
  • teamwork
Lesson Activities 

Students learn how instruments that measure humidity come in different designs and serve many purposes. Students work in teams to design and build their own hygrometer out of everyday items that can indicate changes in relative humidity. The student hygrometers are not meant to be exact, but are expected to indicate a change. Student teams review their own designs, the designs of other teams, and present their findings to the class.

Resources/Materials 
  • Teacher Resource Documents (attached)
  • Student Worksheets (attached)
  • Student Resource Sheets (attached)

Alignment to Curriculum Frameworks

Curriculum alignment sheet is included in PDF.


Alignment to Curriculum Frameworks
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