Should we repair?

Lesson overview

In this design and technology Key Stage 3 (KS3) lesson, students learn how many products are designed to become obsolete and the impact this has on the environment. This lesson is focussed on students finding solutions to make it easier to repair products. Included are teacher resources that allow students to design a modular phone that can be updated and repaired easily.

Learning outcomes
  • Describe what products can be easily repaired
  • Create a modular design for easy repair
  • Explain the environmental implications of products that can be easily repaired
  • Define repair
Lesson steps
  1. What have you thrown away? (10 mins)
    Students list items which they have thrown away and consider which could have been repaired.
  2. How have phones changed? (10 mins)
    Students order phones from oldest to newest and compare how designs have changed over time.
  3. Why are things not repaired? (10 mins)
    Students investigate how planned obsolescence is used in industry.
  4. Design a modular phone (20 mins)
    Students are introduced to a modular design. They are tasked with building their own modular phones.
  5. Would you buy a repairable phone? (5 mins)
    Students discuss the question, “Would you rather buy a repairable phone or the latest Apple phone?” This encourages students to explain how environmental implications do or do not impact their attitudes.
  6. Defining todays keyword (5 mins)
    Students use a definition grid to help them define the word repair.