This month, we begin a ten-session enrichment programme with students at the Archer Academy, a school in North London.
Head of Art, Design & Technology Darren Pearson tells us that he was positively surprised by the response to his appeal at a school assembly for participants, and the gender balance. A number of girls said they wanted to learn hard skills, how to use their gadgets for longer.
Pearson saw an opportunity to bring new activities backed by a strong sustainability-focused ethos to his Design and Technology students.
The ten sessions will start with a dive into why we need to change our relationship with electronics, get hands-on, go into design and what is inside our electronics, and finish with circular economy careers and the future. We hope to plan a Restart Party – a drop-in electronics repair event – for the school in July, towards the end of the sessions.
We will be sharing our experiences and materials directly with students and educators who are a part of our online group (find our more here), and documenting our learning here on the blog.
Our aim with this work is to design materials that are relevant for teachers, educators and students – sharing them freely, providing advice where necessary – but not to become a service delivery organisation in schools.
Session 1 The environmental impact of our gadgets
Session 2 Our stress, worker stress
Session 3 Safety and taking electronics apart
Session 4 Researching and getting organised for repair
Session 5 Understanding upgradability and laptop maintenance
Session 6 Mobiles, batteries and rare earth minerals
Session 7 Practicing troubleshooting: headphones, game controllers and computer mice
Session 8 Creative problem solving and identifying good design
Session 9 Exploring the intrinsic value of gadgets for reuse and recycling
Session 10 Understanding the circular economy and future jobs