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Objective

In this module, students will discuss the value of repair and their personal experience with repair. Students will work in groups to pick something that needs fixing, research and design a repair, and create and share that repair procedure.

Deliverables

  • Written reflection
  • Repair procedures

Core Concepts

  • Repair
  • Technical Communication
  • Engineering Design
  • Sustainability

Standards Correlations

This activity correlates to the following Next Generation Science Standards. These standards incorporate the Common Core Literacy Standards. This activity may correlate to other standards, but these are the best fit:

NGSS Engineering Design - Performance Expectations:

  • HS-ETS1-2. Design a solution to a complex real-world problem by breaking it down into smaller, more manageable problems that can be solved through engineering.
  • HS-ETS1-3. Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.

Materials

  • A broken thing—have students go for something simple like a scratched CD, a running toilet, or a hole in drywall. These should also be unique problems.
  • Computer, ideally with internet access
  • Optional: Digital camera

Procedures

Activity 1: Understanding Repair

As a class, brainstorm what repair means. Have students talk as a class (or with their families) and write a reflection on the following questions:

  • What is broken in your life?
  • What things have been broken in the home? Why did they break?
  • What things have been fixed in the home? What was the cost?
  • What things have been thrown away? Why?

Activity 2: Fix something!

  • Pick one physical item in your life that needs fixing, preferably one that has a simple solution. (For example: a flip-flop, a scratched CD, or a leaking sink)
  • Design a solution for fixing the item.
  • Evaluate the solution based on cost, safety, reliability, aesthetics, and environmental impacts—perhaps have students do research and compare.
  • Create a guide so that others can repair similar items based upon what you’ve learned—this can be done for free using iFixit’s guide-writing platform or by other mediums.
  • If you are using iFixit's guide writing platform, we have student-facing instructions on this site. Please carefully read through them and direct your students to them. Students should read and follow these instructions closely. The instructions break the project into four checkpoints for students to work through. We highly recommend that you try it yourself before doing it with your students.

Discussion Topics

  1. How can we encourage people to repair their things?
  2. Why is repair important for us as people?
  3. How does repair impact the environment?
  4. What can we do as a society to repair things? What can we do (as individuals) to help?

Other Resources

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