National Recycling Week - The Sustainable Smartphone

National Recycling Week - The Sustainable Smartphone

Lesson 3 of 5 in this unit

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

Lesson summary

In this lesson, students explore the concept of conflict minerals and gain an understanding of the impact of resources used in the production and consumption of mobile phones. Students will research the Fairphone social enterprise and design a Smartphone based on a more sustainable model.

Learning intentions:

Students will...

  • understand the role and impact of resource use;
  • understand the concept of conflict minerals;
  • begin to take responsibility for sustainable consumption habits.
  • share their experiences and inspire others to take action.

Lesson guides and printables

Lesson Plan
Student Worksheet
Teacher Content Info

Lesson details

Curriculum mapping

Australian Curriculum content descriptions: 

Year 9 & 10 Design and Technology:

  • Critically analyse factors, including social, ethical and sustainability considerations, that impact on designed solutions for global preferred futures and the complex design and production processes involved (ACTDEK040)
  • Explain how products, services and environments evolve with consideration of preferred futures and the impact of emerging technologies on design decisions (ACTDEK041)

Year 9 Geography:

  • The effects of the production and consumption of goods on places and environments throughout the world and including a country from North-East Asia (ACHGK068)
  • Present findings, arguments and explanations in a range of appropriate communication forms, selected for their effectiveness and to suit audience and purpose; using relevant geographical terminology, and digital technologies as appropriate (ACHGS070)

Year 10 Geography:

  • The environmental worldviews of people and their implications for environmental management (ACHGK071)
  • Present findings, arguments and explanations in a range of appropriate communication forms selected for their effectiveness and to suit audience and purpose, using relevant geographical terminology and digital technologies as appropriate (ACHGS079)

Syllabus Outcomes: GE4-2, GE4-3, GE4-4, GE4-5, GE5-4, GE5-8D&T5.3.1, D&T5.3.2, D&T5.2.1, D&T5.3.1, D&T5.3.2

General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking, Personal and social capability, Ethical understanding

Time needed: 180 minutes

Resources required

  • A range of whiteboard markers, internet access, data projectors and compatible device capable of playing an online video
  • Student Worksheet.


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

  • creativity
  • collaboration
  • problem solving         

Additional info

Planet Ark’s National Recycling Week started in 1996 to bring a national focus to the environmental benefits of recycling. This highly regarded annual campaign continues to educate and stimulate behaviour change by promoting kerbside, industrial and community recycling initiative. It also gives people the tools to minimise waste and manage material resources responsibly at home, work and school. In partnership with Planet Ark, we have developed lessons from early learning through to year 10 to help educators bring these important topics into the classroom.

National Recycling Week is held in the second week of November each year but you can recycle all year-round with these lessons which were designed to be used at any time. Click here to find out more about National Recycling Week and the Schools Recycle Right Challenge. 

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