How to use lockdown time and do engaging STEM projects?

How to use lockdown time and do engaging STEM projects?

As most of you know that the world is fighting the spread of COVID 19, most people are spending time at home. What kind of STEM projects can we do during this period. I invite all of you to reply to this thread giving ideas of projects.


How about making a Contact less Thermometer?

Contact-less Thermometer is a device which measures the body temperature without making any contact with the skin.
It can also measure the temperature of other things such as machines, PCB, Hot milk and etc.

The average cost of available units in the market ranges from Rs 2000 to Rs 6000. These units does allow to tinker around it in terms of its repair, re-calibration and upgradation. And it also seems to be a something complex and magical black box.

So lets explore it via STEM project approach.

Making our own Contact less Thermometer will help us to explore its inside technology, principle involved and enable us to put our own design thinking into it.

I know as most of us are at home and it is difficult to fabricate it, but lets discuss about its design, requirements, science and technology involved and etc.

As we have access to our laptops/desktops/Tablets and internet connectivity, lets collaborate on development of things which I termed as “Digital Pre-Fabrication”.

Digital Pre-Fabrication

Through this i mean the following

  • Study of Contact-less Thermometers, their principle and technology used.

  • Which principle and technology to be used, Defining our design parameters and application features.

  • Sensors available and selecting the suitable one by reading datasheets as per our application.

  • Selecting a Microcontroller or MCU Board (such as Arduino, ESP etc).

  • Making a circuit diagram on paper. (This will include interfacing of a processing device with Inputs (Sensor, switches), outputs (small Display, leds) and a power circuitry (which must be battery powered). There may also be some communication device such as WiFi or Bluetooth as per features defined.

  • Making a schematic and PCB design with reference to circuit diagram. (This will require to work on CAD-CAM softwares such as KiCAd : an Open Source Software to design PCBs)).

  • Designing 3D Model of the encloser to hold PCB, Sensor , display, switches, leds and battery aesthetically. (This will also require CAD software such as FreeCad or OpenScad : Open Source Softwares to design 3D models).

  • Defining the algorithm and writing a code specially with comments. (We cannot write the complete and perfectly working code as we are not testing it on hardware but we can write it in a generic way so that when we are fabricating the device physically this code can be easily turned into perfectly working code).

Please Note the developments done up to this stage (which may be near about 65 to 75 percent of our project work done) does not require any physical fabrication facilities (such as fabricating PCBs, Soldering and testing electronics components, Optimizing code while testing physically on the device, 3D printing/laser cutting encloser and enclosing PCB and other componets into it).

The device can be fabricated (may require some modification) whenever we will get access to fabrication facilities via our offices, School Labs, ATL, Makerspaces, Fab-Labs, Innovation Hubs, Community centers, Makers Club, Local Market services etc.

Now coming to the learning and engagement point.

if we carefully observe all the work to be done during “Digital Pre-Fabrication”, makers are engaged in experiencing the learning and boosting up their skills from the following:

  • Exploring the fundamentals of science and technology used behind.
  • Working with electronics components and designing circuit diagrams.
  • Working with Arduino or any other Computing platform and writing codes.
  • Designing PCB for their circuit diagram (exploring KiCad)
  • Designing 3D model for enclosure (exploring OpenScad or FreeCad).

This is not only limited to this particular project but we can also think of other computational projects.

Lets discuss on this and collaborate as a team to work on different modules of this project.



The danger of touching face does not stop when we use a mask around the nose and mouth. I think full face protection is better. How about folding a transparency (OHP) sheet around the face, supported by a cap on the top, and a cloth at the bottom. In a humid and hot weather, this will be inconvenient. We will have to think of how to send cool air inside. So many challenges to solve.

MakerAsylum did something like this:


This looks cool. But unlikely protect this person or other from the virus.


My thoughts are as follows:

Eventually many of us will get the infection. Just as we had flu earlier, we will bear it.

Let’s us use this time to create designs, technology that helps people, particularly doctors and nurses, to reduce contact and help those who are facing SARS symptoms.

E.g, help make every hospital and other public places’ door to open and close without using handles.

Ventilated, cool headgear, useful also for people facing polluted roads.

Work on prosumer net, to ensure production and supply chain does not get broken even in situations like a pandemic.

And discuss as much as possible on online sites to create knowledge as we live.

Preventing pandemics, like natural disasters, is not possible. What is possible is to educate everyone to face a pandemic and reduce such effects in future. Let’s think long-term, while we continue to deal with the short-term goals.

Let’s make sans-contact everything, starting with a thermometer.


Hello everyone I have started the thread for Development of Contact-Less Thermometer, please find the link below.

Looking forward for all of yours collaboration.

Happy Development !

1 Like

I am a class 11th student, how can i help you


Hello all,
I am learning React Native JS while working on some application to manage grocery shopping in our locality without crowding during the lockdown.
A simple tutorial is here, you can give it a go:

This in turn will help me to progress with a browser based learn FFT from scratch by tinkering tool.

I’m sure for anybody who wishes to start with browser programming and is okay facing git bash will get a good hands on experience if you would like to collab. Let me know via a reply here!


Hi @aakash_mylife, we also want to design Facemask/shield, can you start thinking on the design of this Facemask, which should cover entire face but will not create any problem for breathing, easy to wear and also can be made easily with local component available with us.

Please post your diagrams, thoughts in this thread, let’s collaboratively work on this for the betterment of society.

Happy Designing !