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The Life Cycle of Mobile Phones - A School Teaching Project

: Schmidt, C.; Wichmann, A.; Middendorf, A.; Schischke, K.

Reichl, H.; Griese, H.; Pötter, H. ; Fraunhofer-Institut für Zuverlässigkeit und Mikrointegration -IZM-, Berlin:
Driving forces for future electronics : Joint International Congress and Exhibition Electronics Goes Green 2004+; September 6 - 8, 2004, Berlin, Germany. Proceedings
Stuttgart: Fraunhofer IRB Verlag, 2004
ISBN: 3-8167-6624-2
ISBN: 978-3-8167-6624-7
Joint International Congress and Exhibition "Electronics goes green 2004+" <2, 2004, Berlin>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IZM ()

Educating pupils in environmental aspects of technology and common devices is the basis to create an understanding and awareness of ecological problems of our current lifestyle.
Mobile-science-fiction is the title of a CD-ROM about mobile phones, made by wibz and supported by Fraunhofer IZM and TU Berlin, as an instrument for a teaching project in Berlin.
The project gives an overview to pupils about the rapid changes in waste management and the importance of a sustainable economic system. It seems that their knowledge about problems of the end-of-the-pipe-economy and new developments in environmental questions, is very basic, independent of their age, origin and able.
During the work on waste management in schools, we were searching for an example, to connect the daily experience of adults with scientific results on its environmental effects. Thus, the life cycle of a mobile phone serves as an example to explain fundamental correlations of technology and the environment. This mobile phone case study in context of up-to-date research results shows the ecological importance of a resources-saving economy.
The teaching unit deals with ordinary devices such as mobile phones and what happens with mobile phones disposed off in incinerators or landfills. This is a really good basis to pick out producer responsibility and the possibilities of re-use, recycling, and new design as a major topic to stimulate discussion among the pupils.
The presentation will also discuss the fundamental understanding of pupils concerning environmental topics: There is rarely any knowledge about environmental protection leadership of large firms, our responsibility to the resources of raw materials, and composition and functions of the parts of their mobiles. The experiences made with this teaching project shows, which new approaches in education are needed to bring environmental awareness to the class rooms and to cross-link school subjects, such as chemistry, physics, and geography, with one major topic. An outcome of this project is e.g. the idea to initiate a children-university for environment, natural science and technique.