Making Sense of Sensors

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In this activity, learners explore sensors and focus specifically on how to measure humidity using a sensor. Learners work in teams of "engineers" to design and build their own "hygrometer" out of everyday items. Learners plan a design, and then build and test a system to measure changes in humidity. Learners evaluate the systems of all teams, review their results, and present findings to the group.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 2 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
$10 - $20 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Student Resource Sheets
  • Student Worksheets
  • Water spray bottle with mist option if possible
  • Water absorbing materials such as cotton balls, tissue paper, cardboard, litmus paper, writing paper
  • Wood blocks
  • Plastic or paper cups
  • Straws
  • Cardboard
  • Cotton balls
  • Aluminum foil
  • Rubber bands
  • Tape
  • Toothpicks
  • Paper towels
  • Wire


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Processes
      • Weather and Climate
    • Earth Structure
      • Atmosphere
  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Metallurgy and Materials Engineering
    • Technology
  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Analysis
      • Data Collection
    • Measurement
  • Physical Sciences
    • States of Matter
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results
  • The Nature of Technology
    • Technology and Society
      • Technology and the Environment
    • The Design Process
      • Research and Development
      • Invention and Innovation
      • Problem Solving
      • Troubleshooting and Maintenance

Informal Categories

  • Nature and Environment


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All rights reserved, IEEE,