PoD Student Mood Tracker

Nihaarika & Monica’s Final Project


Overwhelmed college student

It is normal that school is challenging and, at times, deeply so! But sometimes things really do get out of control, and students, unable to communicate to their teachers and advisors how they are feeling, can fall over the edge. It is at this point–when students are burnt out, sleep deprived, and even physically ill, that the institution notices that it’s time for a change.

We believe this is an issue of feedback delay. What if teachers and academic advisors knew before it is too late, that school life for students is going downhill? What if there was a way to stop the burn out and misery before it happened?

The Concept

User Story Board
User Story Board

This project is designed to help students track their mood with feedback sent to academic advisors to know how a student cohort is doing on a daily or weekly basis.

The mood tracker is inspired by the notion of checking in on how a group of people are doing using “thumbs” as a visual cue. An upward, side, or downward-pointing thumb signifies a good, ok, or bad emotional state, respectively 👍👎

When a students punch in their mood on the tracker, the tracker tallies up the number of pressed buttons and sends email triggers. For example if 20 “thumbs down” were recorded, the IFTTT APP sends an email alerting the academic advisor of a perilous student status.


The concept of of checking in date back to the 1960’s practice of punching. -in at work.

Our mood tracker bears a core resemblance to the standing satisfaction booths in airport bathrooms and stadiums.

However, our product goes further in that it is not so much an endless vessel for feedback, but an alert system that is triggered at specific moments to help educational institutions and staff know when to check in with their students. 

The Neumann study found emotional exhaustion and lack of felt accomplishment are ingredients of the burnout process. Therefore, Emotional fatigue greatly influences student performance and affects personal commitment which makes it important to track and prevent.

Lastly, we use the thumbs similar to the iconic Facebook “LIKE” since it is a familiar concept to a majority of our target audience -Millennials.

Material List

  1. Adafruit Feather Huzzah 
  2. Arduino Uno
  3. 2 Adafruit Perma-Proto Half-sized Breadboard PCB
  4. 3 Tactile Switch Buttons (12mm square, 6mm tall) 
  5. Ultrasonic Distance Sensor – 3V or 5V – HC-SR04 compatible – RCWL-1601
  6. Ultra Flexible White LED Strip 
  7. Neopixel strip 1m
  8. Adafruit Soft Flexible Wire NeoPixel Strand – 50 NeoPixels
  9. 5V 2A Switching Power Supply w/ USB-A Connector 
  10. 12 V DC Power Supply
  11. PLA white filament 
  12. Silicone coated electronics wires 
  13. MDF wood ½” thick
  14. Purchase this 6 x 12 x 2” box or make your own

Tools Required

  1. Soldering machine and wire
  2. Wire cutter
  3. Wire stripper
  4. X-acto knife
  5. 18” ruler
  6. Pencil and eraser
  7. Paper
  8. Measuring tape
  9. Transparent tape
  10. Hot glue


To follow detailed steps on how to create the Mood Tracker click here


Preliminary Sketch
Low Fidelity Model
3D Rendering
Final Product

Product Video

Product in use

Final Product Shots

PoD Mood Tracker: Vote Good
PoD Mood Tracker: Vote Bad

Future Projections

A mood tracker can be used in settings other than schools. It would be interesting to imagine this product in work settings as well. Lastly, since emotional feelings are alot more complex and subjective to each individual having a detailed database on who clicks what button throughout the week would help understand individual emotions better.