software resources for science and technology education

LEARNING PATHWAY - 2   Experimenting with sensors and devices

IMB Learning Pathway

Having built up programming skills with the Exercises, you will be ready to experiment with connecting components to the micro:bit.  You can connect input sensors as and use them to control output devices.  A simple kit which you can make for yourself uses a temperature sensor or a light sensor for controlling a buzzer or a set of three LEDs. Start with the ‘Switches and Sensors’ tutorial, then try out the Mr Bit Experiments as shown here.

START Tutorial

How to use sensors and devices with Mr Bit

Make a buzzer bleep on and off

Make six short bleeps like a radio time signal

Make pairs of bleeps like a telephone

These experiments give a taste of the ways in which you can use sensors to control outputs.  Have a look again at the Mr Bit Exercises and think how you might use a temperature or light sensor input instead of or as well as a button or a gesture.

Some harder experiments to try

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Choose one of the paths below

Make a yellow LED flash on and off

Make a sequence of flashing LEDs

Make the traffic light sequence with LEDs

Show the light level value on the micro:bit LEDs

Show a ‘Light’ or ‘Dark’ message

Show the light level as a bar graph

Show the temperature on the micro:bit LEDs

Show a ‘Hot’ or ‘Cold’ message

Show the temperature as a line graph

Count when a shadow covers the light sensor

Show weather messages on the LEDs

Make an alarm sound when light gets blocked

Light LEDs to show when it is not too dark

Light LEDs to show hot, cold and comfortable

Sound the buzzer when it is too hot or too cold

Mr Bit Starter Kit

Click here to find the instructions for making this inexpensive DIY kit. No soldering needed. The plug leads fit securely directly into the micro:bit.

Remember also that there are sensors built into the micro:bit.  You can use those sensors instead of the temperature and light sensors. Copy the ideas in the Mr Bit Experiments to show readings, plot graphs, show messages, count events, and so on.  Let your imagination be your guide!