Now that the students have assembled the BOSEbuild speakers, you can introduce the Sensor Kit. (Figure O) In the Sensor Kit there are three different sensors that connect to the Control Panel and allow the students to experiment with different aspects of their environment. The Sensor Kit also includes two cables that connect the sensors to the Control Panel. Explain that sensors are similar to the senses in the body, but can sense other things that the body cannot, like magnetic fields and light exposure, and respond to these senses with a programmed response.  WARNING: These sensors should be handled with care to ensure optimal performance.


If moving on directly from the previous stage press the Yellow Button once more so that the speaker is not lit up.  If you have taken a break between Activities 4 and 5, then push the Yellow Button on the Control Panel five times so that the speaker is not lit up (not on a pre-set mode).

The first sensor that the students should experiment with is the Magnetism Sensor. Have the students connect the Magnetism Sensor using the single cable with the plugs with two circles on both ends (plugs go into ports with the matching number of circles). One end of the cable connects to the Magnetism Sensor, with the two circles on the yellow piece facing up, and the other end is inserted into the port labeled with two circles on the Control Panel. (Figure P) (CREATE A VIDEO FOR THIS) Be sure that both plugs are pushed in all the way, or the Sensor will not work.

With the slider positioned all the way to the left, have the students play with the Magnetism Sensor, moving it towards and away from the Magnet. Notice that the color of the LEDs in the BOSEbuild speaker changes. To hear the musical notes, press the Yellow Button. The note will play as long as the Yellow Button is pressed. Listen to the different notes that the speaker plays at different distances. Explain the magnetic field around the Magnet and how the force of the Magnet is stronger or weaker when it is closer of farther from the Magnetism Sensor. (Figure Q) Encourage the students to flip the Magnet over. This will make the scale play in the opposite direction as they move the sensor.  Ask them; “Why does this happen?” Explain that the notes are reversed because they flipped the North and South poles.


The students can now play with the different settings for the Magnetism Sensor. Moving the slider over causes the speaker to play different octaves and instruments.

        1. Far left – first octave
        2. Two-fifths of the way – second change of octave
        3. Three-fifths of the way – third change of octave
        4. Four-fifths of the way – piano sample (single octave, does not change with sensor orientation)
        5. Far right – drums sample

Next the students can experiment with the Light Sensor. To connect the Light Sensor, remove the single cable that was used for the Magnetism Sensor from the Control Panel. Replace it with the second cable with a total of two plugs and one port, all of which have three circles.  

The end of the cable with one plug (with two wires running to it) goes into the three circle port on the Control Panel. The 3 circles on the yellow plug need to be facing up.

The other end of the cord has 2 pieces, one that has a port and the other that has a plug, both with three circles. (Figure S) The plug can be inserted into the port on the Light Sensor, making sure that the three circles are facing up. Have the students experiment with positioning objects or their hands above the Sensor and listen to the different notes that the speaker plays and observe the different colors that it displays. The Yellow Slider has the same settings as the Magnetism Sensor, so encourage the students to play with the different octaves and instruments. (Figure X)

Lastly, the students can experiment with the Gravity Sensor. Keeping the cord attached to the Control Panel, remove the Light Sensor and replace it with the Gravity Sensor. The Gravity Sensor changes the notes and colors according to its orientation. Just like with the Magnetism Sensor, the note will only play if the Yellow Button is pressed, and holding the Yellow Button will cause the note to be played as long as the button is pressed. Changing the orientation of the top of the Sensor (the side that says “Gravity”) will change which note is played. Have the students play around with making the top of the sensor face the floor, ceiling and four walls of the room to cover the different notes that can be played. (Figure T)

Check out some projects done by other classrooms: Project Gallery