Using Digital Instruments

Module 1:

  • Within the first part of lesson 1 students learn how to build digital environmental monitoring instruments, then we focus on how to use those instruments to undertake data gathering experiments.
  • We look at subjective and objective data, observational error and bias. We formulate hypotheses and capture large data sets to test them.
  • The data sets we collect are used to undertake a simple, but meaningful data analysis. Students learn data science skills whilst investigating their environment
  • With the skills learned a number of cross-curricula experiments can be meaningfully undertaken.

The primary outcome of Module 1 is increased digital and data literacy

Lessons:

These lessons do not include any coding and are aimed at middle and high school students aged 11+.

Students build digital instruments and load them with pre-compiled code to create the tools that are used. The software required is listed in the table below.

There are four lessons in Module 1:

Lesson Description Additional items

link to pdf

Investigate the common features of a circuit / computer then learn how to build one with xChips.
Load code onto the instrument to make it work.

Download the software used in this lesson

1 page guide to connecting xChips

Additional reading / background information

Link to pdf

Use an environmental monitoring instrument to gather data. Investigate lux and data sorting, perform basic analysis and learn about observational error.

Download the software used in this lesson

Additional reading / background information

Link to pdf

Collect 24 hours worth of environmental data and analyse it. Learn about correlations, visualisation, trends and extrapolation.

Download the software used in this lesson

Additional reading / background information

Link to pdf

Learn about surveys, objective and subjective data then undertake a project to link light levels with human behaviour.

Download the software used in this lesson

Download a user guide for the software

Additional reading / background information

Everything you need to know about the lessons is listed in the PDFs, including outcomes, success criteria, ISTE linkage, preparation hints. The lesson workflow is divided into 3 or 4 sections, each of which are stand-alone topics with clear objectives, engaging content and evaluation milestones.

What pre-knowledge do learners need?

  • To work through Module 1 NO prior knowledge of electronic hardware or programming is required, and students from ages 11+ can learn a lot from these lessons.
  • Some spreadsheet prior knowledge is required: students will need to have used Excel (or an equivalent) at a beginner level. In each lesson prior knowledge requirements are itemised in detail.