Circular Economies for Electronic Waste

Circular Economies for Electronic Waste

Lesson 1 of 4 in this unit

  • Secondary
  • Year 9 - 10
  • Technology
  • Design and Technologies
  • Environmental
  • Sustainability
  • Economic
  • Design Thinking
  • ...

Lesson summary

Students explore the impacts of e-waste by assessing their own personal electronic devices and the linear take-make-waste system as compared to the circular economy model. They will assess case studies in order to present a design proposal for change.

Learning intentions:

Students will...

  • understand the difference between the linear and circular economy models and make a case for change regarding e-waste that considers social, economic and environmental aspects of sustainability.

Success criteria:

Students can...

  • recognise preferred designed futures by making a case for change for e-waste
  • define the linear and circular economy models
  • identify products that utilise linear and circular economy models.

Lesson guides and printables

Lesson Plan
Student Worksheet
Teacher Content Info
Visual Explainer
The R'S of Sustainability

Lesson details


This lesson is designed to build students’ competencies in the following skills:

  • collaboration
  • problem-solving
  • prototyping
  • initiative
  • global citizenship
  • communication

Curriculum Mapping

Australian Curriculum (v9.0) content description: Year 9 & 10 Design and Technology:

  • Analyse how people in design and technologies occupations consider ethical, security and sustainability factors to innovate and improve products, services and environments AC9TDE10K01
  • Analyse the impact of innovation, enterprise and emerging technologies on designed solutions for global preferred futures AC9TDE10K02

General capabilities: Critical and Creative Thinking, Ethical Understanding

Syllabus outcomes: DT5-3, DT5-3, DT4-5, DT5-5

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability 

Relevant parts of Year 9 & 10 Design and Technology achievement standards: Students can explain how people consider factors that impact on design decisions and the technologies used to design and produce products, services and environments for sustainable living. They can explain the contribution of innovation, enterprise skills and emerging technologies to global preferred futures, and they select and use technologies skilfully and safely to produce designed solutions.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – facilitate class discussion

UN Sustainable Development Goals

UN SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

Target 12.4: By 2020, achieve the environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes throughout their life cycle, in accordance with agreed international frameworks, and significantly reduce their release to air, water and soil in order to minimise their adverse impacts on human health and the environment

Target 12.5: By 2030, substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse

Resources Required

  • Device capable of presenting audio-visual clips
  • Student access to device
  • Visual Explainer

Additional Info

This Closing the E-Loop unit has been developed in partnership with Comsol, a manufacturer, importer and distributor of electronics, who use a step-by-step approach to sustainability that aims to establish a sustainable, environmental and socially-supporting ecosystem for technology products and services. A key pillar of Comsol’s overarching framework is education. They believe that knowledge-sharing about the electronic waste crisis, sustainability and closed-loop solutions for electronic products provide opportunities for society to speed up the transition to a circular economy.

You can access all expert interviews and video content created for this unit through Vimeo. If you would like more information about the main topics and areas covered by these interviews, we have categorised them to make them easier to find and use in whatever context you see fit!

lesson saved in resources




More from this unit

See all
See all

Related content

Loading content...
Loading content...
Loading content...
Loading content...