Quick summary: In this activity students are asked to investigate the idea of planned obsolescence and how this relates to what we consume and how much we consume. Students are asked to watch and respond to a short clip from a documentary in their own time, then analyse the planned obsolescence of a product that they or someone in their family recently purchased. Students will then recreate a product according to a more sustainable design model.
This lesson has been developed as part of the Schools Recycle Right Challenge for Planet Ark’s National Recycling Week. Register your lesson or other activities so they can be counted towards the national achievement and to receive other free support materials.
- Students understand the term ‘planned obsolescence’.
- Students identify a range of ways that products are designed according to principles of planned obsolescence.
- Students recognise the role of consumers in the sustainability of products.
General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking, Ethical understanding
Australian Curriculum content description:
Year 7 Economics and Business
- The ways consumers and producers respond to and influence each other in the market (ACHEK017)
Year 7 & 8 Design and Technologies
- Examine and prioritise competing factors including social, ethical and sustainability considerations in the development of technologies and designed solutions to meet community needs for preferred futures (ACTDEK029)
- Investigate the ways in which products, services and environments evolve locally, regionally and globally through the creativity, innovation and enterprise of individuals and groups (ACTDEK030)
- 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: T4.1.2, T4.1.3, T4.4.1, T4.6.2, T4.2.1, T4.2.2, T4.5.2, C4.2, C4.3, C4.4.
Topic: National Recycling Week
Time required: 60 mins+
Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – oversee activity and facilitate discussion
Resources required: Internet access, student worksheet.
Homework and extension opportunities: Includes opportunities for homework or extension.
Keywords: Planned obsolescence, upgrading, consumption, consumers, sustainability.
Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.