Mining for Mobiles

Metals in our Smartphones

Electronic devices such as phones, laptops, digital cameras and video games, use various minerals to function. Some of the main minerals in a smartphone, are Gold (Au), Aluminum (Al) and Tin (Sn). Below is a list of some of the main minerals used in a smartphone.

  • Copper (Cu)
  • Silicon (Si)
  • Silver (Ag)
  • Platinum (Pt)
  • Iron (Fe)
  • Tantalum (Ta)
  • Etc…

 

Aluminium (Al)

Aluminium (Al) has a white-silver colour, and is the third most abundant metal on earth. It is also one of the lightest structural metals, and highly ductile. Furthermore, it is heat reflective, corrosion resistant, easily recyclable, and conducts electricity well. The melting point for aluminium is about 660°C, and the boiling point is about 2519°C. This metal is often alloyed with copper, magnesium or zinc because by itself it is not particularly strong. Tin is found in products such as cans, foils, kitchen tools, window frames, transportation, architecture and so much more. It is also used in the battery casing and the glass screen of a smartphone. There are about 31 grams of Aluminium used in a smartphone.

 

Tin (Sn)

The use of Tin (Sn) has dropped, as people replaced tin with plastic. The melting point for tin is about 232°C, and the boiling point is about 2586°C. This metal is resistant to corrosion, so it is often used to coat other metals like steel to prevent them from corroding. Some tin compounds were used to paint ships to prevent barnacles, but because tin is deadly to marine life, they now have banned it in most countries. Only half a percent of tin used in a smartphone. They are used as a soldering agent, with other metals such as copper, lead, and silver.

 

Gold (Au)

Gold (Au) is the most valuable metal in a phone. It is one of the only two metals that are not the colour grey or white when pure. Gold is ductile, does not tarnish, chemically unreactive and conducts electricity. It is also heat resistant. The melting point for gold is about 1064°C, and the boiling point is about 2836°C. Because it has high values, gold is often alloyed with other metals. Gold is used to make jewelry, coins, gold medals, architecture, and sometimes used in drugs to treat specific medical conditions. Surprisingly, gold is a key element to function most electronic devices. In a smartphone, it is used in the connectors, switches, and connecting and coating wires. There are about 0.034 grams of gold in each smartphone, which is worth about 1.82 dollars. In a computer, it is used in the microchips, connectors, wire coatings, and more.

 

Where do these Metals come from? Major consumers?

Gold, Aluminium and the 3 T’s: Tin, tungsten, and tantalum are very important to function a smartphone. All of these metals except aluminium mostly come from eastern Congo, in Africa. Gold is also found in Johannesburg in South Africa, tin is also found in Malaysia, and they both can be found in Yanacocha in Peru, and Indonesia too. Aluminium is often mined in Australia, Africa, and South America. The major consumers of gold, tin, and aluminium are China.

 

Issues

One of the issues is safety issues. The mines in eastern Congo are controlled and taxed, by the armed groups. They make millions of money each year by trading minerals such as gold, and the 3 T’s. With the money, they buy guns, grenades, and weapons to use in war. 500 million people have died because of this. Also, did you know that people who work in the mines don’t earn much? For example, Patrick Bwana a 12-year-old boy has to work at a mine from 6 in the morning, ‘till 3 in the afternoon, and all he gets is 5000 Congolese francs each day. That’s only about 3-5 dollars! “I used to go to school, but my father died, and no one paid for my studies anymore.” He says, according to Jacob Kushner from NPR. Bwana is one of the ten thousands of kids who work in the mines of eastern Congo. Another issue is environmental issues. After these minerals are mined from Congo and illegally exported to other countries (Which is also another issue!), they go to factories in Thailand, Malaysia, China, and India to be mixed with other minerals from around the world. This causes a lot of pollution.  

 

What can we do?

There are some small things we can do to help. One idea is this: us consumers can demand major smartphone companies such as Apple and Samsung to stop using metals that are mined from places where workers are abused and not treated well, and make sure all the metals that are used in our phones are conflict-free. It is hard to track down where the minerals come from and if they are really conflict-free because they are illegally exported to other countries, and even more when they are mixed with other minerals. But these companies like to improve on their products by feedback from us. So if a large number of people demands these things, they might notice and start using conflict-free minerals to make their products. To make this happen, we have to raise awareness and tell the world how much of a problem this is. This may take longer, but it’s still worth it. Another thing we could do is help different campaigns and services. UNICEF (United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund) is an organization that protects, defends and fights for the right of a child. You can donate to children who are suffering from unsanitized water, the lack of food, gender equality, and of course child labor. You can donate to UNICEF monthly, or just once, and you can choose how much to donate. I would recommend this more, because you can support these children more directly, than just raising awareness.

 

 

 

Citations:

Merchant, Brian. “Were the Raw Materials in Your iPhone Mined by Children in Inhumane Conditions?” Latimes.com, Los Angeles Times, 24 July 2017, bit.ly/2iRLZER.

“Gold.” Britannica School, Encyclopædia Britannica, 16 Jul. 2016. school.eb.com/levels/middle/article/gold/274588. Accessed 26 Nov. 2017.

“Aluminum.” Britannica School, Encyclopædia Britannica, 1 Nov. 2017. school.eb.com/levels/middle/article/aluminum/272824. Accessed 26 Nov. 2017.

Goldman, David. “Your Dead iPhone Is a Gold Mine – Literally.” CNNMoney, 13 Oct. 2011, cnnmon.ie/2AxerGC.

“The Many Uses of Gold.” Uses of Gold in Industry, Medicine, Computers, Electronics, Jewelry, bit.ly/1zpMmYC.

ENOUGHproject. “Conflict Minerals 101.” YouTube, 18 Nov. 2009, bit.ly/2i3ZF2t.

“Periodic Table.” Periodic Table – Royal Society of Chemistry, rsc.li/1eSlfuQ.

Mack, Eric. “What The iPhone 6 Is Really Made Of.” Forbes, Forbes, 16 Sept. 2014, bit.ly/2AaYdzH.

Kushner, Jacob. “In Congo, Lure Of Quick Cash Turns Farmers Into Miners.” NPR, NPR, 28 Mar. 2013, www.npr.org/2013/03/28/175577518/in-congo-lure-of-quick-cash-turns-farmers-into-miners.

“UNICEF Home.” Home | UNICEF, UNICEF, www.unicef.org/.

Art Reflection

This is my pattern. The cultural influence is the Cherry blossoms in each of the motif design’s corner. The personal interest is the bird in the middle of each motif design and also the cat’s paw print on the left of each motif design. 

I think I did very well in making the design and combining my two final motif design into one better motif design. I think I did well on printing, but I did make a few mistakes so I had to print a few times since I failed some of them. I am proud of transferring the motif design on the rubber so the pattern will interlock almost perfectly. I made a few mistakes while carving my motif design, and I covered my mistake by making sure that there was ink on the positive part when I printed my motif. I could improve my cultural influence by choosing different kinds of cultural influence because both of my cultural influence was a flower. Next time I would like to use a different kind of cultural influence. I think I could improve my personal interest idea by putting a different kind of personal interest because both of them were animals. That does represent me because I love animals, but I like other things too, so I think I should have done my favourite sport, music and other things I like.

I think the overall interlocking of the pattern is good since the heart in the corners are interlocking almost perfectly, and the paw print is also interlocking except for some of them since when I glued it went kind of off. The trail of the bird is also kind of interlocking, but they are a few millimeters off. I put hearts on the corner of my motif design, which made a clover shape when I repeated them multiple times to make a pattern. I used 3 different colours of ink, yellow, Prussian blue and turquoise, and I used 3 different colours of paper, magenta, turquoise and light blue. I chose these colours because first of all, blue especially turquoise is my favourite colour. And I like to be happy, and yellow represents happy which is why I chose this colour. Then I chose magenta because I wear a lot of pink colours and I also like this colour. I think the colours I used had unity because the colours I used for the outside are all different kinds of blue, and I used yellow ink on the magenta paper for the very middle. That way, the middle will stand out a lot which will mean that it also has some contract.

Art Reflection: Portrait drawing

As you can see, the portrait on the right, (which is the final portrait) is way more realistic, and 3D, while the one of the left, (which is the one I drew before we started this unit) has no contrast, value and it does not look realistic and 3D. I have learned many things during this portrait drawing unit. The main things I have learned was, was to draw my facial parts (eye, nose, mouth etc.) using the right proportion. I had to make the facial parts the right shape, the right size, and in the right place. I think I really improved on that and I think the proportion for my final portrait looks way better. I also learned many skills like using the right pencil for the right places to make lots of values. I used to draw with the same pencil for my whole face, but now I know how to use different kinds/darkness of pencils so it looks more three dimensional. For example, I would use the really dark 8B/6B for the really dark parts/shadows, or I might use the lighter HB or 2B for the lighter but little dark parts. I also learned how to draw with the eraser. Drawing with the eraser means that you draw the highlights. (Which means that you erase the darker parts to make highlights) Another new thing was, was that I learned to use a blending tool to have more gradation in my portrait. Not only have I learned new techniques or how to use new tools, I have learned new words, that are related to art/portrait drawing. For example, value means the lightness or darkness of something. Finally, I have also improved to work as a team and collaborate with my friends and classmates. We asked questions to see what was wrong with our portrait and what we could change, and we gave advice on what they should improve on.

 

If I had the opportunity to do this again, I would like to change many different kinds of things. One of the things I have noticed after I drew this was, was that my face was too light and the portrait didn’t have the right value. Of course, it would never be perfectly the same value, but I think I should have darkened it more. Also, I think I could have added more details to make it even more 3D. For example, I would like to work on the hair more, if I had more time to work on it. I did not add a lot of different values for my hair so I would add more highlights for my hair. Another thing I would like to change is to make the eyes a little bigger since I thought it was too small compared to the face. But I think overall, I did a good job and I am proud of it.

 

During this unit, I describe myself as a communicator and a thinker. I think I was a communicator because I was able to explain and communicate what was wrong and what they could do better to my friends/classmates who needed feedback. I think I was a thinker because I really thought about what needs improvements in my own portrait, and other’s portraits.

 

Letter to the future 6th graders

Dear future sixth-grade students,

In 6th grade, you will be having a unit about water issues around the world. This unit will be a combined unit with I&S and Science. You will be doing many things, but the main project is the website creating and the poster creating.

This is a brain frame of the basic things you will be doing during this water unit. The boxes with red circles are the ones where I learned a skill, and the boxes with blue circles are the ones where I learned something that is water related.

Here are some tips on how to do great in creating the website:

  • Make sure you cite all the websites you looked at when you are researching so you don’t forget which website you used. (You will regret it if you didn’t!)
  • Make sure you know what the vocabulary words mean, so it’s easy when you need to add them to your website.  
  • Make sure the information’s real.
  • Make sure you don’t have any grammar or spelling mistakes.
  • Focus during class so you don’t have homework and you are on task. (If you didn’t finish it, work on it at home.)
  • Make sure it’s easy to read.
  • Add images to make the website interesting.
  • Look at the criteria so you know what you need for your website.

This is my website. My topic was about the Flint Water Crisis.

 

So here are some tips on how to do great in creating the poster:

  • Again, make sure are focused during class so you don’t get homework. (If you didn’t finish it, work on it at home.)
  • Again, make sure your information is real.
  • Again, check your spelling and grammar.
  • Work with your partner even though they are not your friend.
  • Make sure the poster is easy to read. (Contrast, Unity, and Balance)
  • Make sure you know what to talk about when you present your poster.
  • Don’t get super stressed.
  • Make sure you look at the criteria so you have everything you need to have a successful poster!

This is my poster about the Flint water crisis and the Amazon river.

 

I hope these tips were helpful and I hope your projects will be successful! Goodluck guys!

To next year 6th graders: An advice on the Roald Dahl essay

 

Writing an essay hard. I had some trouble on it, and it took hours and hours to finish the final essay. So here is some advice in writing a good essay. I hope you learn something!

  • Always use your teacher’s feedback and advice.
  • An essay does not have any contractions, so make sure you don’t add them in your essay.
  • Make sure you don’t write any of opinions in the story.
  • All of the words should be formal. No informal words in an essay!
  • You need a topic sentence, some points, some evidence, some explanations and a conclusion for the body paragraph. (The introduction and conclusion paragraph is a little different!)
  • Make sure you use different words for different sentences that mean the same thing to make the essay interesting!!!

This is part of my paragraph:

Roald Dahl is an astonishing author because he creates different and strange characters. Readers can see that some of the characters in his stories are a little strange and different from normal humans. For example, Matilda can do things a normal girl can not do. She said, “‘I can pick the cigar up just with my eye-power and push it and pull it in the air any way I want!’” (p178) This shows that Matilda is different to a normal human and she has abilities people usually do not have, which makes her an extraordinary character. By making the characters different and strange, it pulls the reader in and makes the reader want to read more, which makes Roald Dahl a wonderful author.      
I hope you learned something!  

Witches are my favourite book out of all Roald Dahl books.  

Check out this website to see some interesting facts about Roald Dahl!!!

Creating a Picture book! :3

Audience

I did a good job on making my picture book that is enjoyable for the grade one kids. Before we started making the story, we went to the grade one kids and asked questions about what kind of stories and characters they like. Most of the kids said that they liked stories with animals in it, and the good characters are all cute and likable. They also enjoy books with lots of colorful pictures and not many words. They said that they would enjoy it even more if they were pop-ups or they had touch and feels. In my story, I have lots of colors, the characters are all animals and they are all cute.

 

Language

Since the audience is the grade one kids, the words we use has to be simple and easy. I had to change some of the words I used because they were too hard for them. I looked at some of the picture books the grade one kids read and used some of the words that were in the book. I also changed the character’s names because some were too hard to pronounce so I changed them into a simple and common name. Also, I don’t have many words on each page and each sentence is short because the grade one kids enjoy looking at the pictures and reading a few words instead of reading a paragraph full of words. I have also made the text as big as I can so it is easier for the grade one kids to read.

 

Material

I used different materials such as, felt, glitter pens, crepe paper, makeup sponges, pipe cleaners and other materials. I used these materials for my book so that the grade one kids can enjoy touching the materials while reading the book. I think the book would be more interesting than the books without touch and feels. The grade one kids have told me that they like to touch and feels or pop-ups books.

This is one of the pages in my picture book. I used, a pencil, pen, felt, glitter pens and crepe paper for this page.

This is the back cover for my picture book. I used, a pen, felt, glitter pens and a makeup sponge for this page. I think the kids will enjoy touching the cat paws because they are soft and fun to push.

 

Design Brief

I have written that a good picture book for a grade one kid would have:

  • Big text
  • Short sentences
  • No hard words
  • Easy to read
  • Funny
  • Simple story
  • Pop-ups
  • Touch and feel
  • Cute characters
  • Has animals
  • Fun
  • Lots of drawings
  • Colorful and vivid
  • Has some kind of trick

I think the picture book I made has most these. Each sentence is short and easy, big text, colorful, the story is simple, the characters are all animals and they’re all cute, lots of drawings, I think it’s a fun book to read and it is a touch and feel book. The book I made wasn’t a comedy book so it might now be funny but I think all good books don’t have to have humor so it is ok. My book is not a pop-up book, but it is a touch and feel book.

 

Reading with the Grade one kids

I was able to read with different girls and boys. The grade one kids really enjoyed my picture book and it was really fun reading the book to them. The grade one kids loved touching all of the pages of my book, but they especially liked the front and back cover. I think they liked the cover pages the most because it had different kinds of material compared to all the other pages. Each time the grade one kids went to read my book, they were really excited to see it and they were amazed by my book. I was a little worried when the boys came to read my book because my book was made mainly for girls. Surprisingly, the boys also enjoyed my book. All the kids that read my book said that the pictures were really good and the characters were really cute. They asked me what materials I used and they were really fascinated with all the sparkly glitters I used. They said that they wanted to make a book when they go to sixth grade.

If I could have another week to work on my book, I would like to improve on my illustrations. I was proud of my illustrations, but I think I could have drawn another scene of the myth because that was a fighting scene, and it was one of the main and interesting scenes. Also, I had an error in my text so I would like to fix it if I could get more time to fix the book.

This is the link to my Presentation: http://bit.ly/2k8jcxn