The purpose of these lessons is to integrate robotics (micro-controllers such as Arduino boards) and computational thinking/coding within the Grade 9 Science curriculum. This provides all students with an opportunity to connect automation, coding and robotics to the study of science.

A slide deck and student handout are attached.

Technology Focus: robotics (micro-controllers such as Arduino boards) and computational thinking (coding)

Materials and Equipment (discussed further in the Body section)

  1. Computer with access to required downloaded software or web based applications.
  2. Bread board
  3. Micro-controller (Arduino, micro:bit)
  4. Electrical components such as: jumper wires, resistors, LEDs, motors, sensors (temperature, light, humidity).

For beginners, suggest purchasing kits such as the following:

These kits come with all required components, building instructions, and coding instructions.

NOTE: If your science department does not have any of this equipment, connect with you computer science or technology departments. It is a great opportunity to collaborate with another department. In my experience, these departments have this equipment and are a wealth of knowledge in coding and using this equipment.

Description: Microcontrollers (Arduino Uno, micro:bits) which:

  • are tiny and simple computers that can be programmed to sense and control activities using sensors, motors, LEDs, etc…
  • can interface easily with breadboards and the circuits built on the breadboard

Level: Beginner (equipment may need to be purchased)

You can easily integrate this technology into your classroom with no previous knowledge of coding. I had no knowledge of coding before I started using both types of microcontrollers (Arduino Uno and micro:bits). Both Arduino Uno and micro:bits have online resources that are ideal for beginners. There is already created code available to use and allows for an easy introduction to coding for both educators and students. The code can be used as is, or values can be adjusted – such as having an LED turn on at 25oC instead of 27oC.

Connect with your technology or computer science department teachers as they can be a wealth of knowledge regarding this technology and maybe able to lend you equipment to use with your class.

Audience:  Secondary – grade 9 science (all pathways), could be extended to other secondary science courses

Tool Highlights:

  • Microcontrollers – Arduino Uno, micro:bits
  • Coding software for Arduino Uno boards – Arduino
  • Online coding platform for micro:bits – MakeCode

Google Slide Deck:

Contains the following information:

  • Main Focus
  • Prior skill sets
  • Curriculum connections
  • Materials and equipment
  • Lesson progression (Breadboard, Robotics and Coding, Space Exploration)
  • Resource Citation List


There is a huge variety of sensors/motors/actuators available to use with microcontrollers. Due to this variety, there are a number of other science courses/strands where you could integrate the use of robotics/coding.

The following are some additional suggestions for grades 9 and 10:

  • SNC1D (Sustainable Ecosystems) and SNC1P (Sustainable Ecosystems and Human Activity)
    • Use CO2, humidity, moisture, light, temperature sensors to study how abiotic factors impact biotic components of an ecosystem.
  • SNC2P (Light and Application of Optics)
    • Use photoresistors and colour gels to investigate subtractive colour theory. The Arduino starter kit has a project titled “colour mixing lamp”.


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