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About SENSE IT: Project Overview

The Student Enabled Network of Sensors for the Environment using Innovative Technology (SENSE IT) project will integrate science, technology, pre-engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills into a robust interdisciplinary curricula and teacher development effort by teaching high school students to design, build, test, deploy and interpret their own environmental sensors. SENSE IT spans three distinct residential regions in New York's Hudson and St. Lawrence River valleys (Potsdam, Troy and Beacon), as well as a diverse socioeconomic and racial spectrum. SENSE IT is providing 120 hours of professional development, in-class support and necessary equipment to participating teachers in the region, while directly increasing awareness of STEM career opportunities for students and teachers.


SENSE IT will provide four project-based educational modules:

1) Sensor development

2) Sensor deployment and data gathering

3) Water quality investigation

4) Sharing data across observatories

Each module will require three to five typical 45-minute class periods and include comprehensive lesson plans to accommodate insertion into any standard high school STEM curricula (mathematics, chemistry, general science, physics, environmental science and computer science), while meeting state and national education standards.


The objectives of the SENSE IT project are to:

Student Enabled Network of Sensors for the Environment
using Innovative Technology

SENSE IT brings real world environmental sensor networks into the high school classroom. SENSE IT participating students are challenged to design, build, deploy and interpret data from their own environmental sensors.

During the first year of the SENSE IT expansion beyond Tech Valley High School, 41 high school teachers from 31 school districts in New York State participated in the program, and received intensive professional development on the interdisciplinary curriculum modules to implement SENSE IT in their schools.

SENSE IT aims to foster science, technology, pre-engineering and mathematics (STEM) career awareness among students, teachers, guidance counselors, administrators and parents.

2009-2010 Participating School Districts

Potsdam region:

Capital region:

Hudson Valley region:


Read more about SENSE IT

7/28/09:  Teachers from nine Capital region school districts to implement SENSE IT science & technology program in classrooms this fall

3/10/09:  Beacon Institute, Tech Valley HS to construct water sensors to gather data

10/23/09:  Beacon Institute and Clarkson University Win Coveted National Science Foundation Award