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Chemistry is everywhere – even in your phones

Article 1: “Digging for rare earths: The mines where iPhones are born. How are these unusual minerals extracted from the ground and why is that process an environmental risk? CNET’s Jay Greene explains.” – from CNet 9/26/12

Digging for rare earths: The mines where iPhones are born

Article 2: Pay dirt: Why rare-earth metals matter to tech (FAQ) It was once an obscure topic only for geologists. But China’s control over rare earth elements used in green- and high-tech equipment is causing alarm as the nation cuts exports.

Pay dirt: Why rare-earth metals matter to tech

Here is the full PDf handout:  Periodic table of iPhones (Full PDF handout)

Article 3:

Does cell phone use cause cancer?

Article 4:

Measuring data with smartphone apps

Learning Standards


ETS3. Technological Systems
7.MS-ETS3-2(MA). Compare the benefits and drawbacks of different communication systems.

7.MS-ETS3-4(MA). Show how the components of a structural system work together to serve a structural function. Provide examples of physical structures and relate their design to their intended use.

College Board Standards for College Success: Science

Objective C.2.1 Periodic Table
Students understand that the periodic table is an organizational tool that can be used for the prediction and classification of the trends and properties of elements.

C-PE.2.1.1 Predict, based on its position in the periodic table, the properties of a given main group element. Properties include appearance, electronegativity, type of bond formed, and ionic charge. Make a claim about the type (metal, nonmetal, metalloid) of the given element. Give examples of other elements that would have similar properties, and explain why they would have similar properties.

Students apply, as well as engage and reason with, the following concepts in the performance expectations:

Properties of an element can be predicted based on its placement in the periodic table. Groups of elements exhibit similar properties with predictable variations; rows of elements have predictable trends.

Elements are often classified as metals, nonmetals and metalloids

AAAS Benchmarks

All matter is made up of atoms, which are far too small to see directly through a microscope. 4D/M1a
The atoms of any element are like other atoms of the same element, but are different from the atoms of other elements. 4D/M1b*

There are groups of elements that have similar properties, including highly reactive metals, less-reactive metals, highly reactive nonmetals (such as chlorine, fluorine, and oxygen), and some almost completely nonreactive gases (such as helium and neon). 4D/M6a

CSTA K-12 Computer Science Standards

CD.L2-07 Describe what distinguishes humans from machines, focusing on human intelligence
versus machine intelligence and ways we can communicate.
CD.L2-08 Describe ways in which computers use models of intelligent behavior (e.g., robot motion,
speech and language understanding, and computer vision).
CD.L3A-01 Describe the unique features of computers embedded in mobile devices and vehicles
(e.g., cell phones, automobiles, airplanes).
CD.L3A-10 Describe the major applications of artificial intelligence and robotics.
Common Core ELA. WHST.6-8.1 Write arguments focused on discipline-specific content.


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