Education Technology

Pet Car Alarm with TI-Innovator™

Activity Overview

In this TI-Innovator™ STEM project, students are given the challenge to design a “smart” pet alarm that will cool the interior of a car and notify the owner if a pet has accidentally been left in a hot car. This project is compatible with the TI-Nspire CX or TI-84 Plus CE handhelds.

About the Lesson

In this TI-Innovator™ project, students will explore the science behind the greenhouse effect and apply their knowledge to design a product to solve a real world problem of pets dying due to owners leaving them in hot cars. Students will have to utilize math skills, computer programming and engineering to design and build a “smart” pet alarm system for a model car. Students will use several sensors alongside the TI-Innovator Hub to design and build the smart alarm that could save pets!

Note there are two alternative approaches (provided in the download section) for doing the project with students:

  • "Project Materials" versions offer the most comprehensive approach, where teachers will find additional background on both coding and science concepts, and these materials also include a classroom presentation PowerPoint for teacher use. 
  • "By Challenges" versions offer a shorter, streamlined approach to the project. Students are presented with a series of smaller tasks that eventually lead toward the final challenge. Check out both versions, and decide which approach is best for you and your class! 

Note: It is strongly suggested that if your students do not have much familiarity with coding on the TI calculator, they should begin with 10 Minutes of Code lessons or the introductory activity: “DIY Mood Ring with TI-Innovator” project to build basic coding skills, and then progress to more complex projects like this one. This project also includes references to specific 10 Minutes of Code lessons for additional support on the student tasks, if needed.