Arduino as a Tool for student lead scientific investigations

Sanjin Dedic
Educator, Author, Robotics Engineer
Maker movement & the Arduino microcontroller make it possible for Yr 7-10 students to conduct investigations, gather data & arrive at insights about our world.
Target Audience
Secondary Science Teachers who want to teach with technology Teachers of various elective subjects that include coding and robotics
6 reviews

Learning Areas

Teaching Standards

General Description

The vast majority of scientific investigations conducted today involve technology which effectively measures and records information about some aspect of our world. Today thanks to Arduino and the Maker Movement, the technology to conduct original and interesting scientific research is finally affordable, easy to use and very much classroom ready. In this workshop we will learn how to write simple programs and build circuits which measure and record data about the following:

1. The ‘shutter speed’ of the human eye
2. Human reaction time to sound and light in milliseconds
3. Grip strength in applied force in Newtons

All of this data can then be recorded, graphed and analysed enabling students to look for trends and patterns with the goal of revealing brand new insights about the human body. We will also have a hands on showcase of various other measurement setups including: Passive Infra Red (burglar alarms), ultrasonic (sonar distance) and Sound Sensors.

Australian Digital Technologies Content Descriptions Covered:

Australian Curriculum Science Inquiry Skills:


Secondary Science Teachers who want to teach with technology
Teachers of various elective subjects that include coding and robotics

Available Delivery Formats

Format Description

Teaching Standards
2.6.2 Proficient Level – Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
3.2.2 Proficient Level – Plan, structure and sequence learning programs
3.4.2 Proficient Level – Select and use resources

Are you in NSW? If so, this is relevant for you

Completing this course will contribute 5 hours of NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) Registered PD addressing 2.6.2, 3.2.2 & 3.4.2 from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers towards maintaining Proficient Teacher Accreditation in NSW.

TTA (Teacher Training Australia) is endorsed to provide the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) Registered Professional Development for teachers accredited at Proficient and Lead Level Teacher.

This course contributes to 5.0 professional development hours.


There are no occurrences of 1. Face to Face in Australia (NSW) at this time.


Introduction to Arduino, Microcontrollers and Electric Circuits

1 hour

We will learn about Microcontrollers, electric circuits and we will build simple circuits with LED’s, Piezo electric buzzers, push buttons and transistors.

We will conclude with the first program a simple LED blink code and an investigation into the blink rates to find the frequency range where they become imperceivable to the human eye.

Colour Mixing Theory and its Technological Applications

1 hour

In this activity we will set up circuits which can do two things:
1. Create any conceivable colour by mixing red, green and blue light
2. Recreate a famous experiment conducted by James Clerk Maxwell which was the origin of this discovery

Teachers will also be provided with BBC documentary footage and a whole curriculum mapped unit on the human eye.

Defining an Ideal Mindset for Your Students

30 minutes

After experiencing circuitry and coding with Arduino we can have a more informed discussion about pedagogy. Namely we will define the attitudes, habits and learning traits we want to instil in our learners. Then we will outline some strategies for motivating students and catering for various paces of learning.

Human Reaction Time Circuits and Research Possibilities

1 hour

In this session we will build a counter which starts when a light (or a buzzer) goes on and gets interrupted when a button is pressed. This very simple circuit and program effectively measure human reaction time to sound and light.

In this session we will fill out some online excel templates with our results and obtain data which could yield new insights in how reaction time correlates with age, gender, using dominant hand and the sound vs light stimulus.

Voltage Divider Circuits (Light Intensity and Applied Pressure)

1 hour

In this session we will cover the concept of voltage dividers and discuss their common applications. We will build a voltage divider circuit and then plug in two sensors one for light intensity and the other for hand pressure data.

We will discuss possible avenues for investigation with these two sensors and share spreadsheet templates.

Sensor Showcase and Implementation Q&A

30 minutes

We can only cover so much in a day session but the possibilities for Arduino student lead research are endless, in this last session we will have a look at very simple code examples using the following sensors:
1. Sound Sensors
2. Passive Infra Red (burglar alarms)
3. Ultrasonic Sensors (sonar distance measurement)

We will conclude with teachers sharing their ideas for Arduino projects they can run in their school and getting some feedback and advice on how to make these a possibility.

What To Bring

Bring the following:
Windows or MAC laptop (iPads are not sufficient)
Pen and paper

User Rating


Latest Reviews

Please note the feedback listed here is unfiltered, and includes all comments and ratings collected.

Arduino as a Tool for student lead scientific investigations
by Kennedy Estephan on 17/04/2019
Arduino as a Tool for student lead scientific investigations
by Mark Gregory on 17/04/2019

Sanjin is very knowledgeable. He presented the information clearly and concisely.

Arduino as a Tool for student lead scientific investigations
Arduino as a Tool for student lead scientific investigations
by Al Hewetson on 17/04/2019

Great introduction to the coding and applications of arduino.

Arduino as a Tool for student lead scientific investigations

I did not realise that this would be the part B of a two part course. I have no experience and did find it challenging. The presenter was very acccomodating and explained things appropriately. Technical language is difficult if you are not into electronics, so needs to be explained.

Arduino as a Tool for student lead scientific investigations
by Joe Rimmer on 17/04/2019

About the team

Sanjin Dedic


Sanjin Dedic is a robotics engineer and an experienced educator in the field of Digital Technologies. Throughout his teaching career Sanjin has been at the forefront of the latest educational technologies, in 2013 he brought Arduino, 3D printing and the make movement ethos into the classroom, he since authored Python curriculum in use by dozens of Victorian schools and co-authored a book on the BBC micro:bit, both aimed at students in Years 7- 10. He currently teaches at the King David School in Melbourne and works with Digital Learning and Teaching Victoria, Teacher Training Australia and The Digital Technologies Hub to share the latest in educational technology and pedagogical approaches with fellow teachers.