Lesson Focus

‘Smart buildings’ meld environmentally responsible design with cutting-edge computing technology. This lesson explores the practical, scientific, ethical, and environmental issues that emerge in building ‘smart buildings’ that rely on ‘the internet of things’. Students work in teams using resourced technology to design and perhaps later implement, smart building solutions to make their school a better place in which to live.


Full Lesson Plan
Student Worksheets

Age Levels:

11 – 17


Introduce students to

  • the concepts ‘smart building’ and ‘the internet of things’
  • design principles and technologies that are used to create smart buildings
  • how computing solutions can support solutions for the common good
  • how sensors, message passing, and event handling implement ‘smart building’ technology

Anticipated Learner Outcomes

Students will be able to

  • explain what makes a building ‘smart’
  • explain how sensors, event handling, and message passing are used to support ‘the Internet of things’
  • design experiments to collect data on the environmental and social needs of a physical environment
  • develop a proposal for a solution to an identified need in a physical environment

Internet Connections

Recommended Reading

Optional Writing Activity

As a team you identified an environmental or social need in your school that could benefit from ‘smart building’ technology that works through concepts from ‘the internet of things’. Summarize your identified problem and proposed solution and discuss how you would ‘sell’ the project to your school administration.

Alignment to Curriculum Frameworks

Curriculum alignment sheet is included in PDF.