Freedom: Teen Thoughts on Democracy

Design Challenge:

The Education Department at Wolfsonian-Florida International University (FIU), a museum of art and design in Miami Beach, Fl with funding from the Rockefeller Foundation, introduced First Amendment rights and explored freedom of expression with middle and high school students.

Claudia’s Involvement:

My colleague Kate Rawlison and I worked under a very short timeline, less than a year, to develop a high-school curriculum designed to engage students in game-based learning, exploring censorship, propaganda, intolerance, and media spin, before exploring lessons in social studies, language arts, and activism through art. We worked with senior language arts, social studies, and art educators from Miami-Dade County Public Schools. The design of the games took place over a year’s time with each of the final four games being prototyped and tested by teens in the museum or in the classroom. They all were redesigned and retested multiple times to evaluate the game mechanics, graphics, game elements, and student enjoyment. A number of games were abandoned in the process. Students from iPrep Academy (and other high schools), as well as teens taking part in The Wolfsonian’s Comic Kraze cartooning workshops, learned about game design and provided important feedback on how each game worked, whether it was fun or engaging, how it might be improved, and their personal experience or feelings while playing.

Freedom___: Teen Thoughts on Democracy (2010-2011). The Wolfsonian-FIU, Miami Beach, FL. Book available for purchase on