Activity: Design Weather Instruments using Lego Sensors



Students will design and create a Lego structure that will house and protect a temperature sensor. They will leave the structure in a safe spot and check the temperature regularly and chart it.

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY [1 = Least Difficult : 5 = Most Difficult]



45 minutes


none, if the school has robotic Lego kits with temperature sensors


1.1 Identify materials used to accomplish a design task based on a specific property.
1.2 Identify and explain the appropriate materials and tools to construct a given prototype safely.

Temperature changes over time, and is not always constant.
Graphing techniques.
Data collection methods.
Design techniques

A temperature sensor measures the temperature of the surrounding air. The Farenheit and Celsius scales are ways to measure how hot or how cold something is.
Charts are a good way to record data during a scientific experiment.
A line graph is a way to graph the change in temperature over time.

RECOMMENDED RESOURCES: - information on temperature monitoring devices - information on temperature sensors

Temperature sensor
Graph paper or graphing worksheet
Data collection worksheet
Assemble Lego's and temperature sensors
Photocopy graphing and data collection worksheets for students


1. Set up a table with assorted Lego’s for the students to use.
2. Introduce students to the temperature sensor. Show the students an example of the sensor and explain what it does.
3. Tell the students that their task is to build a structure with a temperature sensor attached to it. Their structure will keep a record of the temperature over a week, and the students will check it regularly.
4. Arrange the students in teams of three or four.
5. Have the students brainstorm an idea of what they wish to build. Have them draw a sketch of their structure.
6. Allow the students to go to the Lego table and take the pieces that they will need to build their structure, including a temperature sensor. Remind students that they must include the temperature sensor somewhere in their design.
7. After the students have built their structures, have different groups show the class their structure. Make sure that they show and discuss where they put their temperature sensor and why.
8. After the groups have completed their structures and have had a chance to show them to the class, have the groups each place their structures somewhere around the classroom. Tell the students they may place them wherever they want but that the place has to be safe for the structure so that it will not be disturbed. (Encourage students to place their structures in different places such as by a sunny window, next to a heater, in a dark corner, in a place where part of the day it is sunny and part of the day it is dark, etc.)
9. Discuss data collection and grahing with the class. Have students use the data collection worksheet provided, or graph paper to create a chart in which to record the temperature of their structure and the date and time that they observed the temperature. Have the students record the initial temperature of their structure.
10. For the next week have students check their structure two or three times a day. (Morning, lunch time, and before school ends are suggested times).
11. At the end of the week have the students visually represent the data that they have collected. Have the groups discuss their results. Ask students if they see any pattern in the temperatures they recorded.
12. After the students have had time to discuss their results in their groups have each group present their results to the class, make sure that the groups tell the rest of the class about the location of their structure.
13. On the blackboard write each groups findings, and the location of their structure.
14. Once each group has shared their results ask students to look at the whole classes results and discuss in their groups any conclusions they can make from all the groups results. Allow the students to discuss this for five minutes.

Are there any patterns to the temperature results?
Was the temperature constant throughout the week? A day? Why?
What can alter temperature?
How does the amount of sunlight affect the temperature?
When was the temperature the greatest? The lowest?
Where in the room was the temperature the greatest? The lowest? Why?


See Associated Download.


See Associated Download.