So my next major project is for the students to design their own cell phone. Here is the basic template that all the classes will receive, but each class will focus on some slight variations:
Prealgebra: surface area and volume (design of phone) and linear equations (cell phone plan)
Algebra 1: linear equations (producing phones and costs involved) and systems of linear equations (optimization of profits)
Algebra 2: systems of equations (optimization of profits) and quadratic equations (maximizing and minimizing materials)
Discrete: mappings and decision algorithms (choosing a phone plan, calculating the costs of each option) and matrices (writing a program to calculate costs of phone plans and manufacturing)
Precalculus: polynomial functions (optimization of profits, price points) and transformations (changing between plans and phone designs)
Calculus: derivatives (instantaneous profits and sales trends) and basic integration (profits over time)
I’ve been challenged by the district to show that project based learning works, so here let’s hope this works out.