Engineering Our Sustainable & Equitable Future

Swimming Hole Temperature Alert System


The Cougars, Windsor VT

Winner: Most Sustainable Design


With our project, we are trying to provide a safe way of letting people know if the water was too cold and could lead to hypothermia or if it was safe to swim comfortably and without worry of getting sick. Our goal is to create a system that will sit in the water and keep track of the temperature through night and day to let people know if they can swim or not without having to guess if it is safe.

First Design Drawing

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This was the Cougar’s first design drawing. It helped the Cougars visualize their design and begin choosing materials. 

Materials List

  • 1 plywood sheet, 8′ x 4′ x 1/2 inch

  • 2 hinges and a latch for a door on one side of the box, to access electronics inside

  • 3 led lights, red, yellow and green

  • a temperature sensor

  • 10 feet of wire, 22 gauge

  • 1 Arduino Uno

  • 1 breadboard

  • jumper wires, resistors

  • 2, 2” x 4” by 8′ boards to make a stand for solar panel

  • 1 inch screws

Second Design Drawing

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This digital design drawing is more detailed than the first, and helped the Cougars create their materials list (below)


This Arduino drawing was used to wire the LED lights and the temperature sensor.
The drawing helped the Cougars correctly wire their device, and identify errors when they occurred. Wiring drawings are very common in engineering.


Following their design drawing, The Cougars built a protective box to protect the electronics of their system.

The Final Prototype!

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The Cougars prototype, with Arduino board, battery, and charge controller.

The Cougars present their prototype at Demonstration Day