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Teaching repair: educational resources for young people

School children learning to disassemble a smartphone

It’s often said that repair skills are more common among older generations. Unless these skills are passed down, so the argument goes, we’re in danger of losing them entirely. Whether true or not, teaching the next generation about repair has never been more important. As the climate crisis deepens, repair can play a vital role in reducing our environmental impact, building resilience and training young people for the jobs of the future.

Community repair events such as Restart Parties and Repair Cafés are brilliant learning opportunities. But we think it’s important that children and young people learn about repair in a variety of settings, from school to museums and beyond. So, here are some of our favourite educational materials for those aged 18 and under…

 

Make it work! – lesson plans for busy teachers

Our friends and partners in Belgium and the Netherlands have recently published two fantastic teaching packs. ‘Make it work!’ takes pupils on a journey through the world of consumer electronics and examines why repair is important. With two versions for different age groups, both packs contain general background information and specific lessons that help students and pupils develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

(Make it work! was developed as part of the EU-funded Sharepair project)

 

Fixing Things for the Future – start a student repair shop

Since 2016, the Munich Rudolf Steiner School Schwabing has been home to a student-run repair shop. Guided by a teacher and volunteer repair coaches, pupils aged 10 to 17 carry out repairs on broken items from members of the public. They tackle a huge range of repairs, from toasters to coffee machines and learn valuable skills in the process. Sounds good? The school has produced a handbook for those interested in trying something similar.

 

Materials Matter – the stories behind our phones

Have you ever wondered what’s inside a smartphone? Our Materials Matter resources take you on the journey of making a phone, from the mine to the shop. Along the way, they examine how each step impacts people and planet. Available as a child-friendly online experience or as printed materials, learn more at the link below:

 

Culture of Repair – for even more materials…

The resources above are great places to start. But if you’re looking for more, our friends at Culture of Repair have put together some exceptional lists of educational materials. It’s a must-use resource for anyone interested in working with children or young people around repair:

[Feature image of pupils disassembling a smartphone by Mark A Phillips, licensed under CC BY 4.0.]

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