The Secret of the Mobile


The Secret of Mobile is a workshop where CoboStories comes out at your school and together we create a workshop where students learn about storytelling and about how many raw materials a mobile phone consists of. The Secret of Mobile has been developed for middle school students.

CoboStories delivers:

Backgrounds, characters, content, racks, tablets and instructors that guide you through the day. The content is allowed to be kept after the day is over and all films are subsequently made available so that you can show them.

Materials we will use in the work:
Mine, World Map, Factory, Europe Map

Raw materials, train, mobile, eyes, arrows

Cell phone

What do you have to deliver?
You must have: internet access, scissors and markers
You must also provide a good mood, students and teachers who want a fun, exciting experience!
You must prepare professional content for the topic if something specific to your subject is to be reviewed.

Your mobile phone consists of up to 65 different raw materials – everything from known things like gold to more unknown things like antimony and tantalum.

But how does all this stuff turn into a phone?

We need to describe how the elements of the world are assembled into a telephone. We can show that gold is mined in Africa, Tantalum in Brazil and Neodymium in China. We can see that Yttrium is extracted in Sweden and that Cobalt comes from Australia. They are all sent to China, where they are assembled and processed and end up as mobile phones. Some are sailed, some are flown while others are transported by train.

All the raw materials have one thing in common. They are not a sustainable resource. That is, they are not restored, but used up as we extract them from the mines in the ground. In this workshop, we will describe how the raw materials are first extracted, then transported and finally collected and distributed. We can also end by showing that phones can be recycled – even if only a little more than 10% of them do!

We start by choosing which raw materials we want to know something about – there is plenty to choose from. Some are super rare – some are quite common and are found everywhere.

Then we find out where the raw materials are used in the phone. The raw materials must then be transported to China, where they are collected into telephones. From China, the phones are sent out and distributed to the whole world. Eventually they are either thrown away or recycled or both.

What happens to the phones when we are done with them? What about the minerals and raw materials?


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