The Caretaker's Swimming Pool Temperature App

Technology ( Electronics ) | Years 7-8 | Christchurch region | January 2017

Image: students with their prize

Four students at Kirkwood Intermediate designed and built an electronic sensor and mobile app to free the school’s caretaker from taking hourly manual readings of the swimming pool’s temperature.

Electrical engineer Chris Baddock from MWH mentored the team and guided them through the product development process. The students started with meeting their client – the caretaker – to establish what he wanted from the project and how the temperature information would be presented to him.

They decided on a smartphone app that updated in real time and could be checked even when the caretaker wasn’t on the school grounds.

The team then researched and analysed different varying measurement techniques before designing their electronic device. It included components to measure, process and display the temperature data locally, and a Wi-Fi module to transmit the data.

During the construction and testing phase the group entered their work in the Canterbury-Westland Science and Technology Fair, where they gained a merit award form Statistics New Zealand for ‘Excellent use of statistics in a science project’.

“Chris made the learning as practical as possible, with students testing design ideas and making modifications to improve performance,” says teacher Julie Anderson “He also discussed the impact an engineering career can have on improving the quality of individual, family and community lives.

“I was amazed at the visible personal growth of the students during the project. They gained confidence as they volunteered for various roles and spoke to adults. Students learnt more than problem-solving – it also involved ways to make and how to justify a decision, how to design solutions, the importance of stakeholder feedback, and working to a budget.”

Photo caption: Students show their prize at the Canterbury-Westland Science and Technology Fair.

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