Workshop with Miner's Guide

Hello, I have planned to organize a workshop with the miner’s guide in a school with student about 17 years old. The idea is to open an old phone and discover the inside of it and it’s components. Have some of you participated in such workshop and could tell me if the activity is difficult to handle?
Thanks in advance for your answers !


I have done one, but I think @Stefan and @paulakreuzer are the experts here :wink:

Hi, we’ve done it at least 3 times in Vienna. :slight_smile:

  • Not more than 3-4 people should work on 1 phone.
  • You should read the Leader’s guide and know which part of the phone is what.
  • Bring many small trays so that the students can sort the tiny parts.
  • Bring screwdrivers pliers and guitar picks.
  • Have some bandaids with you. :wink:
  • At the end people shouldn’t be disillusioned, but presented with alternatives to the environmental problems. What can they do to solve the problem?

@paulakreuzer what else? :wink:

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Thanks for the answer !

Were you kind of " trained " to dismantle a phone or the leader’s guide is sufficient ?

For the alternative part we realized a short animation movie which offers alternatives.

Why the bandaids ? :stuck_out_tongue: In case of accidents?

Well the expert would be @anon2751513, she even held a meta workshop about urban mining workshops at last years #efct16 and I believe she said she had done about 50 workshops by then, maybe it was even more.

One tip she mentioned: There are a lot of things you can talk about while holding an urban mining workshop (conflict minerals, mining, repairability, recycling, e-waste,…) but there is never enough time to talk about all of them. Pick what you think your audience/students will find most interesting and start the workshop by talking about that a little.

Espresso. No really, re-energizing snacks and beverages are necessary as taking apart non-Fair-phones can take a lot of time and energy.

Yes, they happen. I remember one bleeding thumb - I just can’t recall who it belonged to.

But you’ll be fine. Good luck! :thumbsup:

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You mean this animation film?

No, we are amateurs, just like you! :wink:

Ok good then :stuck_out_tongue: Thanks for the tips. Never seen this movie but good to discover it! Ours is in french, we will manage to have subtitles in english soon enough normally :slight_smile: Nevertheless this is our Facebook page with the link of the movie in the pinned post

This is indeed important. Try to dismantle a phone on your own before, to see if you really have the right material. We found out our screwdrivers were not the right ones and were able to order the right ones at iFixit before the workshop

Start collecting phones in time! For our workshop, we were able to get everyone more than one phone to dismantle (it was a small group). Comparing an old Nokia to a modern smartphone is very interesting :slight_smile:

We also showed this movie: It’s a little bit outdated, but (sadly) the principles remain the same.
Also, we turned the Miners Guide into a presentation. This saves a lot of paper and allows you to skip some parts if you think the group would like to focus on other aspects, add some pictures/graphs/… (like this one, or this).


Hello, I have another question: I read it is not advised to use old smartphone but better use « normal » old phones. We thought it would be better to use old smartphone to make the students more receptive as they generally always and uniquely have used smartphone and not « normal phones » what do you think about that?
Also do you think the phones are reusable after the workshop ?

“Dumbphones” are simply easier to take apart than smartphones, that’s why they are recommended. If you do a Workshop with Smartphones and didn’t prepare and see if they come apart first it might be over quick.
Also you should only use non-functioning phones as when you take them apart right down to the last detail - where it gets really interesting - you can not reuse them later.


Also, I’d like to add that dumbphones, in general, serve more educational purposes because they show how design should be done (screws instead of glue, exchangeable battery, etc.).

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Find an old Nokia N9 for the best of both worlds as very easy to disassemble.


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