Systems and Control Mid KS3 Y8 Mainly Making - Moody Lights

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D&T Key Resources
Systems and Control Mid KS3 –
Mainly Making
Moody lights – 8 hours
First published 2015; updated 2016

Students manufacture a mood light using an RGB LED or one or more Red, Green, Blue LEDs that will respond to the environment where it's located, using such sensors as heat, light, movement/ vibration. Following an introduction to ‘softwired’ microcontroller circuits and different the sensors and outputs, students go on to create a circuit diagram and programme from a range of options before planning the production and testing of the boards.

Key Learning:

  • Know what components are needed for a sensing circuit to operate
  • Make use of sensor systems to affect the operation of a system
  • LED series resistor calculations
  • Create suitable controlling software to operate the mood light in an appropriate manner
  • Know how to power a circuit using a number of power supply options


  • Use circuit simulator software to investigate/test circuit ideas
  • Creation of a PCB from a circuit diagram
  • Develop a program that solves a particular problem
  • Develop a program that uses a sensor as an analogue input.
  • Relevant testing of prototypes

NC 2014 Learning objectives

  • TK9 How to apply computing and use electronics to embed intelligence in products that respond to inputs
  • TK16 Use learning from science to help design and make products that work
  • TK10 Make use of sensors to detect heat, light, sound and movement such as thermistors and light dependant resistors
  • TK11 How to apply the concepts of feedback in systems
  • TK12 How to control outputs such as actuators and motors
  • TK3 How more advanced electrical and electronic systems can be powered and used in their products

Free resource also available:  Learning Planner and Assessing Without Levels - Teachers' Guide 

D&T Key Resources

These Design and Technology Key Resources form part of a KS3 plan for D&T learning and a project bank from which you can choose to populate your school’s learning plan. Other resources in the plan cover curriculum areas of Textiles, Food and Product Design.

These resources have been developed to help teachers who are looking to move their schemes of work from craft-based focused projects, where the craft outcome is the critical factor, towards planning D&T learning units that focus on students’ learning in design and technology.

The resources are designed to enable you to either use the full KS3 learning programme or to plan your own using these available units from the bank. You can use these units with others from the ever growing bank available on the D&T Association website or you can design your own to fit your school’s requirements.

Each learning unit has been designed by starting with selected learning objectives from the 2014 National Curriculum. From here the units have been developed with tasks, activities and experiences which provide opportunities for students to learn and demonstrate what they have learnt. Furthermore assessment opportunities have been 'designed in' where teachers can assess whether students have learnt what the unit has set out to teach them. To make them easier to reference in medium and short term plans they have been coded DB1, MA2, MB7 etc. A full reference table of coded learning objectives is included in this pack.

Across all material components of D&T resources have been developed for Early, Mid, and Late Key Stage 3 and are of varying lengths, each with a different theme and approaching the activities from a different learning focus:

  • Mainly Designing               two to five hours
  • Mainly Making                   three to four hours
  • Design and Make              six to eight hours
  • Technology in Society      two hours


Each resource pack comprises:

  • Unit of work
  • PowerPoint presentations
  • Self assessment worksheets
  • Homework sheets
  • Support resources

Units can be purchased as individual items or as sets across early, mid or late KS3, or as a full set covering the whole of KS3.

Curriculum Credits cannot be used to purchase this item.


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