Resource FarmBeats for Students

Resource Type:

Activity, Audio and Video, Lesson Plan


Artificial Intelligence, Computer Science> Machine Learning

Grade Levels:

10th, 11th, 12th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th



Today’s farms are beginning to look a lot more like smart cities. Growers are using modern techniques like sensors, computer vision, and artificial intelligence to acquire a more complete view of their crops. These methods help them make better decisions, discover inefficiencies, and unlock new insights into improving food production. The FarmBeats for Students program brings these modern tools into the hands of today’s learners.

The program combines an affordable hardware kit with curriculum and activities designed to give students hands-on experience in applying precision agriculture techniques to food production. Using an array of sensors, students stream and analyze data in Excel. With, they build, train, and apply machine learning models to track and inform plant health. There are activities where students setup an agent, and others where they work with a curated big data set. The learning progression enables students to easily see the connections between these modern agriculture tools and the opportunities they afford.

Using FarmBeats for Students, students learn about AIMachine Learning, and the Internet of Things (IoT) by building a garden monitoring system. They assemble a Raspberry Pi equipped with atmospheric and environmental sensors to understand their soil’s health, analyze data, and make decisions. The student-built IoT devices connect to custom Excel workbooks that collect real-time data using Excel’s Data Streamer. Using, students are introduced to building their own Machine Learning models, applying the technique to predict nutrient deficiencies in their plants, and identifying pests in their garden. The course ends by introducing a responsible AI framework, engaging students with some of the social and ethical challenges raised by this new technology.

The five lesson plans and activities have been designed to align with the AI4K12’s AI education guidelines and the 5 Big Ideas.

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