Monitoring with the Finch

Use the Finch to monitor the light level and temperature in your classroom.

Lesson Level

Advanced II

Programming Language

Scratch, Snap! Level 4




6-8, 9-12

Teacher Materials

Materials available for teachers.


This project is aligned with Common Core math standards that involve arithmetic and algebraic expressions (5.OA.A, 6.EE.A, and 7.EE.B); proportions (6.RP.A and 7.RP.A); and the coordinate grid (5.G.A and 6.NS.C). At the high school level, this activity enables students to summarize, represent, and interpret data (HSS.ID.A and HSS.ID.B).

In this project, you will use the Finch to monitor the light level and temperature in your classroom. You will start by monitoring these variables over a one minute period, and then you will modify your program to monitor them over 24 hours.

Write a program that meets the following requirements:

  1. The program must record 480 temperature measurements over approximately one minute.
  2. The program must also record 480 light measurements over the same time period.
  3. The beak of the Finch should be green when it is recording and off otherwise.
  4. After the program finishes recording, it should plot the temperature and light measurements on the computer screen in different colors. The measurements should be scaled so that the light range 0-100 and the temperature range 0-36°C occupy most of the screen.
  5. The stage background should state what you are measuring and show an axis for each group of measurements.

After you have your program working for a five minute period, modify your program so that it takes 480 measurements for light and temperature over a 24 hour period. Measure what happens in your classroom overnight!