Difficulty: intermediate
Lesson Type: curriculum unit
Subject: computer science
Grade Level:
  • 9-12
An image of a graph showing ice duration data.

Developing and Using Models: Students create a graph using data from a Google Sheets spreadsheet. They compare datasets found on multiple sheets and, in a final step, add a line of best fit.

Today, making sense of data through visualization is a crucial skill for identifying real-world problems in your community and communicating evidence about them to others. Follow along as Janelle, an environmental scientist, gathers information about beautiful Spirit Lake in Iowa to answer important questions about changes she has witnessed on its shores. Janelle uses her app to solve the problem of predicting and mitigating ecosystem disturbance.

This guide provides everything students need to start learning how to create new phone apps with their own datasets.

  • Comfort navigating App Inventor Designer and Blocks screens.
  • Up-to-Date App Inventor Companion (version 2.65 or higher) for Android devices (iOS Spreadsheet capability currently in development)
  • Only Part 4: Some prior knowledge of statistical terms
Learning Objective:
This lesson can serve as a resource in a unit on climate change and align with NGSS, LS2.C: Ecosystem Dynamics, Functioning, and Resilience or Practice 2e: "Develop and/or use a model (including mathematical and computational) to generate data to support explanations, predict phenomena, analyze systems, and/or solve problems."

Resources on Google Drive
Data in Action: Using Spreadsheets and Charts in MIT App Inventor
  • Link your app to your own spreadsheet (in development)
  • Create a Google Sheets credential for free to read and write to private spreadsheets (in development)

2 x 50-minute lesson

Target Grades
High School | Grades 9-12