THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF COMPUTERS

Lesson Time:
45 to 60 minutes

LESSON GOALS

 

In this lesson, students will reflect on how the parts of a computing system are related to the environment. Students will explore the life cycle of a computer and investigate the impact computers have on the environment.

LESSON RESOURCES

 

CAREER CONNECTIONS

 

Economist

Pilot

Healthcare Professional

Information Technology Specialist

ESTABLISHED GOALS

Students learned of the different components that make up computers. In this lesson, they will learn of the impact computers have on the environment.

 

 

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

1.

Students will be able to identify the environmental impacts of making computers.

 

2.

Students will be able to identify the environmental impacts of using computers.

3.

Students will be able to identify the benefits of different energy sources.

 

4.

Students will be able to define the proper way to dispose of a computer.

 

LESSON PREPARATIOn (10 MINutes)

 
  • Suggested student to kit ratio is 2:1 up to 3:1. Assign students into groups of 2 or 3.

  • Share the Graphic Organizer with students.
  • Project or share slides with students.


engage

Introduction (10-20 minutes)

Present this essential question to students: How does using a computer affect the environment?

Have students work in groups to answer the following questions using their Piper Computer Kits:

    1. According to the inventory on our Blueprint, how many parts make up a computer?

    2. Where do you think these parts come from?

    3. When we tested our computers, the last step was plugging into the Battery. Where does that electricity come from?

    4. What do we know about where we get electricity from?

explore

Main Activity (30-40 minutes)

Tell students that before we can understand the impact computers have on the environment, we must first understand where they come. Then we can understand what powers them and how they can be reused or recycled. They will focus on the following as they conduct research in a Jigsaw format:

    1. Production of computer parts.

    2. Where our electricity comes from.

    3. Recycling the parts of a computer.

 

Students will research the following topics and write down notes in their Graphic Organizer:

    • Mining

    • Manufacturing

    • Packaging

    • Shipping

    • Usage

    • Recycling

 

If students needs assistance in their research, you can provide them with the following reading resource.

EXPLAIN

Environmental Impact (5-10 Minutes)

How would you describe the impact that one computer has on the environment?

Use slides 4-10 to discuss the life cycle of a computer.

ELABORATE

Computer Costs (5 Minutes)

Cost is also a consideration when making a computer. Research the cost of creating one computer.

Ask the students the following:
- How do you think the price of a computer determines which ones people will buy?

- How do you think price relates to the environmental impact?

Phase 5.3 - The Environmental Impacts of Computers
EVALUATE

Closing/Reflection Activity (10-15 Minutes)

How has learning about the environmental impacts of using computers affected the way you look at technology in your everyday life?