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Revealing materials inside electronics – with repair groups, museums and young people

Through the Refer Project together with organisations in 5 other countries, and illustrator Rod Hunt, last year we created educational resources on the raw materials in electronics for use at community repair events. This was funded by the European Union’s EIT Raw Materials. There is a leaflet and a set of cards that match with commonly found components in electronics.

These resources have proven really popular in the UK and we plan on continuing to make them the centrepiece of our education and outreach work in 2020. We’re reprinting the resources as we write this.

Taking our resources on the road to Scotland

In January, we brought these materials to a workshop in Glasgow by Repair Café Glasgow designed to help new community repair groups get started in Scotland.

This proved to be a really engaging, hands-on part of the workshop and participants reported they were excited to take the resources and incorporate them into future community repair events.

We’ll be bringing these resources back to Glasgow for Fixfest UK in June.

At the Royal Institution with the Royal Society of Chemistry

The launch of the resources last autumn coincided with the 100 year birthday of the periodic table, which led to an invite from the Royal Society of Chemistry to speak on a panel at the Royal Institution entitled “Are We Running Out of Precious Elements?”

We brought a social perspective to the panel of experts in chemistry and resource policy. The newly-published video benefited from the Ri’s huge reach on YouTube and has already been viewed 20k+ times.

Working with museums

This year, we’re excited to be working with a consortia of science museums across Europe called “Replay” to use these materials and incorporate repair and reuse into their programme of activities. As the project press release says:

Starting from the education materials and networks built in previous projects, we will identify and define a set of formats which can be delivered to large audiences, using science museums as the privileged (but not the only) place where such formats will be delivered.

We’re most interested in targeting our outreach activities to children and young people (under 25s). As a part of this, we’ve got three exciting museum events in the pipeline which we cannot announce just yet, but watch this space. We’re also open to working with new museum partners.

Reaching young people in our communities

We’re also interested in reaching out and working with young people in Camden and Lambeth, the two boroughs where we’ve concentrated our activities over the years.

We’ve been reaching out to groups near us in Brixton but we’re super open to connecting with existing groups of young people, if even for a taster session.

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