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Age Range: 7-11
Duration: 60 or more mins
  • Science
  • Computing
  • Maths
  • D & T

Smart greenhouse project with the BBC microbit

Designing and programming a system that can keep conditions in a greenhouse ideal for growing food

In this fun class project, students will design, program a 'smart' greenhouse system using the BBC micro:bit. Leaners will learn how technology can play a role in food production, understanding the conditions required for plants to flourish in a greenhouse environment.

This is one of a set of resources developed to aid the teaching of the primary national curriculum, particularly KS2. This is part of our series of resources designed to support the use of the BBC micro:bit in primary school design & technology (DT), computing and engineering lessons.

Activity: Designing and programming a device that can find lost treasure

In this project, students will use the BBC micro:bit to design and program a system that can automate temperature and soil moisture levels in a 'smart' greenhouse. By the end of this lesson, students will have a solid understanding of how programmable devices can be used to resolve issues related to food production, honing their problem-solving and coding skills in the process.

The activity involves analysing a design brief and criteria before deciding between two routes: designing and coding the system themselves or using a pre-written program, which they can edit as needed.

The engineering context

This activity provides a practical demonstration of how programmable systems can address engineering, social, and environmental challenges, particularly in the realm of food production. By creating a 'smart' greenhouse, students will see first-hand how technology can optimise growing conditions.

Suggested learning outcomes

The aim of this project is to help students understand the conditions necessary for food plants to thrive in a greenhouse. They will acquire the skills to design a programmable system capable of controlling the temperature and soil moisture levels within a greenhouse.

Examples of the BBC micro:bit programs

Click here to open the program directly in the microbit code editor or download the programs below to open in your existing editor.

Stater program

Plant program

These programs can be downloaded as .hex files below via the 'Download all' button. 

Download our activity sheet and other teaching resources

The activity sheet includes teachers’ notes, useful web links, and links (where appropriate) to the national curriculum in each of the four devolved nations; England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

All activity sheets and supporting resources are free to download, and all the documents are fully editable, so you can tailor them to your students’ and your schools’ needs.

Download our classroom lesson plan and PowerPoint presentation below.

Please do share your highlights with us @IETeducation. 

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