Activity Introduction

Quick summary: This lesson is one of six lessons for Years 3-8, designed to support you and your students to produce quality films for the MobileMuster Film Competition, with the aim of encouraging the community to recycle more of their old and unused mobile phones. The 2022 MobileMuster Film Competition is open, and the theme is ‘The Science of Recycling’. For information about the Film Competition, visit the MobileMuster website.

This lesson introduces students to some of the key barriers to mobile phone recycling as identified by MobileMuster. Through exploring the role of emotion in changing behaviour and applying Design Thinking processes, students will develop a film that will aim to help mobile phone users overcome their resistance to recycling their old phones. For a more thorough investigation of mobile phone recycling and to learn about the cradle to cradle life cycle, there is an introductory lesson: MobileMuster Film Competition – Designing for Sustainability 1 – Years 7 & 8.

Learning intention: 

  • Students will understand the barriers to mobile phone recycling.
  • Students will understand the role that emotion plays in behaviour.
  • Students will understand how to apply Design Thinking processes.

21st century skills:

Content descriptions:

Years 7 & 8 Design & Technology

  • Investigate the ways in which products, services and environments evolve locally, regionally and globally and how competing factors including social, ethical and sustainability considerations are prioritised in the development of technologies and designed solutions for preferred futures (ACTDEK029)
  • Critique needs or opportunities for designing and investigate, analyse and select from a range of materials, components, tools, equipment and processes to develop design ideas (ACTDEP035)
  • Generate, develop, test and communicate design ideas, plans and processes for various audiences using appropriate technical terms and technologies including graphical representation techniques (ACTDEP036)

Syllabus outcomes: T4.1.1, T4.1.2, T4.1.3, T4.2.1, T4.2.2, T4.5.2, T4.4.1, T4.6.2

General capabilities: Critical and Creative Thinking, Personal and Social Capability

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability

Relevant parts of Year 7 and 8 achievement standard: Students explain a range of needs, opportunities or problems and define them in terms of functional requirements and constraints. They independently and safely plan, design, test, modify and create a range of digital solutions that meet intended purposes. Students use appropriate protocols when collaborating, and creating and communicating ideas, information and solutions face-to-face and online.

Topic: Sustainability, Creative Thinking.

Unit of work: MobileMuster Film Competition

Time required: 100 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – guide students through design activities and monitor project progress.

Resources required: Student Worksheets – one copy per student. A device capable of presenting a video to the class. Butcher’s paper and coloured markers. Sticky notes. Assessment Matrix. Storyboard Template (optional). Reasons For Not Recycling Mobile Phones (optional).

Keywords: Sustainability, recycling, mobile, film, competition, design thinking, sustainable design, emotion, empathy, define, ideate, prototype, test.

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.


Teacher Worksheet

Teacher Preparation

Learning intentions: Students will ...

  • ... understand the barriers to mobile phone recycling.
  • ... learn about the role that emotion plays in behaviour.
  • ... practice the Design Thinking process of empathy, define, ideate, prototype and test.
  • ... create a film.

Success criteria: Students can …

  • ... apply Design Thinking to develop possible solutions.
  • ... develop a detailed plan for a film.
  • ... appeal to emotion through film.

Teacher content information: MobileMuster is the product stewardship program of the mobile phone industry and is accredited by the federal government. It is voluntarily funded by all of the major handset manufacturers and network carriers to provide a free mobile phone recycling program in Australia to the highest environmental standard. The program is committed to raising awareness and educating the community on why it is important to recycle.The environmental benefits gained from recycling mobile phones are: avoiding futu

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Student Worksheet

Thought Starter: How can design influence user behaviour?

1. Flipped Classroom (optional)

Watch the following two clips and respond to the questions below:

MobileMuster - The Recycling Journey (

MobileMuster - The Benefits Of Recycling Your Phone (

Summarise the first clip in 30 words or less:

Summarise the second clip in 30 words or less:

How do you think recycling mobiles phones relates to sustainability? TIP: Sustainability is about making sure there is enough for our environment and for everyone on Earth, both now and in the future.

2. Barriers to mobile phone recycling (MobileMuster)

  • Keeping old phones as spares for backup in case current phones stop working or get broken
  • Haven't got around to recycling them yet
  • Might have old phones that are still working or that might have information on them that people still need
  • Aren’t sure what to do with them
  • Are concerned someone might access the data. On
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