Science Olympiad Detector Building Event

Resources to support the Detector Building Event which will be a required event in Science Olympiad Division C (High School) Competitions in 2019-20 and 2020-21.

Publisher: Texas Instruments Inc., Texas Instruments Education Technology

Author: Texas Instruments Education Technology

Topic:  Computer Science  STEM

Tags  Coding ,  Engineering ,  Programming ,  STEM ,  TI-Innovator

Event Overview

The Science Olympiad’s newest Div. C event, Detector Building, is now one of the 23 approved events for this year’s competition. TI has plenty of resources to help your team be competitive.

The Detector Building event combines coding, engineering, math, and science into a working sensor that is calibrated and coded to collect data. The program students write will cause various LED’s to turn on or off based on the temperature readings. During the competition, students must adjust their code and calibration equation to match that of a store-bought digital thermometer closely.


Detector Building Video click here


Science Olympiad Detector Building Setup with TI Technology



                                                               click for enlarged view in new window

What do you need?

This section contains a list of the equipment and supplies that the students will need:

  1. TI graphing calculator (TI-84 Plus CE or TI-Nspire CX, TI-Nspire CX CAS or TI-Nspire CXII)
  2. TI-Innovator Hub
  3. TI Breadboard Pack or Detector Builder Kit

Note: If you already have access to a TI-84+CE, TI-Nspire CX, or the TI-Innovator Hub, make sure to update to the latest operating system and sketch versions. (See links below)


Outfit your team with a free Detector Building kit for the TI-Innovator Hub

Coaches click here to register for a kit (available while supplies last).

*Detector Building kits are limited to 1 per team/school.


The Detector Building kit is a subset of the TI Breadboard Pack.

The kit includes a TI Analog Temperature Sensor, red LED, green LED, blue LED, 3 Male/Female jumper cables, 3 Male/Male jumper cables, 3 100 Ohm resistors and a breadboard.


Learn to Code with TI's 10 Minutes of Code

New to coding? Start here to learn how to code with your calculator and TI-Innovator Hub --


TI's Path to STEM Projects

Develop skills to do the Detector Building Event using TI’s Path to STEM Projects, a free how-to resource found at

  1. Building an LED Breadboard – Use TI’s Path to STEM Projects Unit 1-Setting Digital Output (Skill Builder)
  2. Building a Sensor – Use TI’s Path to STEM Projects Unit 4 – Getting Analog Input (Project)
  3. Calibrating a Sensor – Use TI’s Path to STEM Projects Unit 5 – Calibration (Project)
  4. Making your output work with your input – Use TI’s Path to STEM Projects Unit 6 – Feedback and Control (Skill Builder and extra for experts)

Note: Path to STEM Projects units include Skill Builders, Projects and Extra for Expert challenges.



Additional Helpful Resources

  1. Science Olympiad Detector Building Event Resources – Link
  2. Where to buy TI resources for Detector Building and Path to STEM Projects --
  3. Updating TI-Nspire family products and TI-Innovator Hub to latest versions --
  4. Updating TI-84 Plus CE and TI-Innovator Hub to latest versions -- 
  5. Try other great STEM projects using TI Technology 


Contact with questions.

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