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ASU Global Futures


6th, 7th, 8th


Science, Social Studies, Economics, Justice, Health, Computer Science & Design Thinking

Resource Types

  • Activity - Classroom, 15 minutes
  • Video, 7 minutes, 46 seconds, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus

Global, North America, United States, Africa, Asia


PDF, YouTube Video

Life Cycle of Electronic Devices


  • In this activity, students watch a doodled video explaining the consequences of producing, using, and disposing of electronic gadgets. 
  • Based on the video, students draw or sketch the life cycle of a typical electronic gadget (cellphone, TV, computer, tablet, etc). 
  • Students share and discuss aspects of the life cycle that could be made more sustainable. 


  • The video animations are engaging for students.
  • There are real examples that students can relate to.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Be sure to watch the video ahead of time. You may gain more ideas on how to make the activity more enriching and engaging for each learner.


  • This could be used as a bell ringer to start a lesson about globalization, environmental pollution, international laws or regulations, a circular economy, or products designed for reuse.
  • As a co-curricular activity, the educator could organize a tour (virtual or actual) to Silicon Valley.
  • Social justice learners may benefit from the topic of creating and building equity amongst nations when dealing with electronic waste.
  • Heath classes could further discuss how environmental toxins impact human health.
  • In civics classes, students could research where take-back laws have been successfully implemented and make suggestions for how their local or regional government could enact similar policies.
  • Related resources include this video about planned obsolescence, and this video about electronic waste in Nigeria.
This resource will guide students to account for waste generated during the life cycle of electronic devices and outline measures to mitigate the impact on the environment. This is recommended for teaching.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • PS1: Matter and its Interactions
      • MS-PS1-3 Gather and make sense of information to describe that synthetic materials come from natural resources and impact society.
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-3 Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
    • ETS1: Engineering Design
      • MS-ETS1-1 Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Civics
      • D2.Civ.12.6-8 Assess specific rules and laws (both actual and proposed) as means of addressing public problems.
  • Related Resources


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