Cell Phone Project


In 2016, this project was published in Maker-Centered Learning: Empowering Young People to Shape Their Worlds, written by a team from the Agency by Design Initiative at Harvard Graduate School of Education's Project Zero.  The "Exploring Complexity" section of Chapter 5, "Maker-Centered Teaching and Learning in Action," highlights how this project starts with deconstructing and looking closely at the parts of different generations of phones as the entry point to a sophisticated inquiry of the external costs of cell phone production and consumption, resulting from shifts in design and manufacturing over time. This created a rich context for students to practice modeling with mathematics. Students developed media and financial literacy as they dug into cell phone provider advertising campaigns, websites, and third party reviews to explore "which cell phone plan is best for your family?" guided by empathy interviews and analyses of their families' current phone bills.


Drawings by 8th grade class of 2017

Infographics by 8th grade class of 2015: Gus Noë, Clemente Ferrer, Ely Feldsher, and Leo Wizelman.

Cell phone provider recommendation by Griffin King (c/o 2017)

My mind map of Common Core Math Standards, skills, and explorations for the Cell Phone Project