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In this module, students will discuss the value of repair and the importance of making products repairable and recyclable. Students will learn to evaluate products for repairability.


  • Written reflection, repairability scorecard, and recommendation letter to manufacturer

Core Concepts

  • Repair
  • Technical Communication
  • Engineering Design

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.


  • Something to take apart 

    • For ideas and safety concerns see: Safety
  • Tools
  • Computer, ideally with internet access


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 do you think are easy to fix? What things are difficult to fix? Why?
  • What are some possible trade-offs with making things repairable?

Activity 2: Repairability Report

  • Pick one physical item to take apart and evaluate.
  • As a team, talk and take notes about what makes it easy or difficult.
  • Share as a class and create a repairability scorecard. You can use iFixit teardowns for possible examples.
  • Evaluate the device using the repairability scorecard.
  • Write a recommendation letter to the manufacturer pointing out what is repairable and suggesting improvements.

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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