Cell Phone Problem-System of Equations

This week in math we are exploring a topic called “system of equations.” What does solving a “system of equations” mean in real world language? It is looking at two scenarios (or linear equations) and figuring out when they meet. Our project this week was comparing cell phone plans. As you may know from the experience of navigating your wireless carrier’s offerings, cell phone plans are complicated. You have to factor in the cost of a new phone (or lease) and then add per month charges for talking, data and taxes. I put the students to work, figuring out how much a phone cost up front and then how much it cost per month for various data plans. They had to project out 12, 24 and 36 months to figure out which plan was the best long term deal. It was fascinating (and a bit hilarious) to hear them discuss their framework around what they value (coverage, data, type of phone, etc.). Here’s a sample of the project: skmbt_c552d16111717220