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Connexions Articles

Learning from Old Technology


Reduce, reuse, recycle, commonly known as the ‘3 Rs’, is the hierarchy that often guides a sustainable lifestyle. Our students are focused not only on incorporating these principles into their daily practices, but also on understanding why we all must do so. 

Over the past few weeks, Grade 5 students have been navigating a unit of inquiry called Share the Planet, which highlights why the three Rs are essential within the context of increasing global demand for resources. Students used tools to carefully disassemble ‘old’ pieces of technology (they dusted off CD and cassette players!) to understand the concept of a supply chain and how every resource can be traced back to origins around the world. 

“Students were exposed to clunky bits of tech that were not even a thing in their lifetime,” says Janet Hicks, G4-5 Vice Principal and PYP Coordinator. “The exercise encouraged them to think further about the consequences of increased global consumption and how the responsible use of technology can limit what ends up in our landfills.”

Classes brainstormed ideas about recycling methods and familiarised themselves with local services. “They were provoked to consider the amount of waste that someone can accumulate – as a global citizen, what is the best way to either repurpose or recycle what you are not using?” explains Janet. 

Nothing like a hands-on session to strengthen core global citizenship skills and reinforce the many ways we can strive for sustainable living.