3) Gizmos


We own stuff. Things. Things that are made from other things. There is a whole process that goes into making the stuff we own and use and replace when it gets slow and old and clunky and outdated. Have you ever thought about how all of that goes down? What *exactly* is your cell phone made of? Or your TV? Or the chromebook you are using now? How are these made? What are they made out of? What makes them work? Who makes them? What are the lives like of the people who make them? Or who mine the materials to make a small part of them? Have you ever wondered that?

Below is a map of every device that is connected to the internet Now circle back around to when this whole theme started. Where is your rich country on this map? Where is your poor country?
Now check this infographic about the amount of resources left in the world Where are most of these located?

Now lets look at where devices come from, and I am not talking about Best Buy or Walmart or Amazon. This is a really challenging article that I want you to attempt to grapple with. I don't expect you to understand every word, just the gist of it. Look primarily at the pictures and read around them.

What exactly are rare earth minerals? Where do they come from? What kind of political issues might come into play?

Is there a cost deeper than money? What are some unintended human costs of collecting these minerals? Is it a coincidence that the poorest country on the planet is also one of the richest in natural resources?

(Update: the Apple Watch might have issues, too)



Half of this story is the Rare Earth minerals - the other half is the actual production of the phones (and similar things).

You will spend this week exploring Foxconn - the biggest manufacturing company of iPhones etc. As you read articles and watch video clips, try to make connections between the things you see/read and the things you learned about America in The Gilded Age.

Here is a general overview of the controversy surrounding Foxconn.

Watch this multi-part series about the company. Keep in mind that the story Foxconn tells to ABC News is most likely not totally transparent and honest. (While you watch, see of you can find similarities between Foxconn and The Gilded Age). **There are 3 videos in this segment**

Here is a more in-depth article. This is several pages long, but you should definitely read it in order to obtain quotes to be used in your documentary and also your blog post for this week.

Finally, one last article.