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Issue 5, Spring 2010

Uganda Unpacked: A Mizungu Tale,
   Brian Delgado, Elika Dadsetan,
   & Nicole Pack
In the Circle, Janna Steffan
Engaging Students, David Price
How Do They Come Up With
   This Stuff?
, Sara Morgan
Disruptive Innovations
   in Schooling
, Michael Horn
Race and Ethnicity
   in an Integrated School
, Spencer Pforsich
Autobots in Action, Karl Wendt
Visions of Mathematics, Ben Daley
Judo Math, Dan Thoene
Family Mathers, Kristin Komatsubara
Writing About Math, Allison Cuttler
Going Gaga, Marc Shulman
The Agony and The Ecstasy
   (of Math)
, Jean Kluver

1: Bilingual Spoken Word
2: Children’s Astronomy Book Project
3: The Sangak{You} project
4: Geometric Mural Project
5: Physics A to Z
6: Philosopher Shrines Salon Night
7: Urban Homesteading Project
8: Illuminated Journals
9: The Hidden Garden

The Sangak{You} project

download pdf (1.4mb)

Sangaku or San Gaku are Japanese geometrical puzzles on wooden tablets, created during the Edo period (1603–1867) in Japan by members of all social classes. The finished puzzles were hung in Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines as offerings. Around nine hundred still exist in Japan today. Our students applied their knowledge of Euclidean geometry and mathematics, along with new geometric tools, to create their own artistic geometry puzzles. These now hang in High Tech High as offerings to peers and visitors.

Teacher Reflection
I wanted students to work with their existing mathematical skills to create and solve their own questions. I also wanted them to get stuck in situations where they had to learn new geometric tools to advance their puzzle. Finally, I wanted to integrate mathematics with art. Both require mastery of a collection of tools to communicate original creative thought. We experienced an intense month of drafts and revisions, with repeated sessions of peer and teacher critique. The finished puzzles are beautiful examples of student learning, and the pride of accomplishment throughout the team is palpable.

—Daisy Sharrock

Student Reflection
Coming up with a Euclidean geometry problem was one of the most challenging things I have ever done. Yet it was fun and taught me a great deal. I learned how to better solve problems, and I had to use all of my creativity to come up with a finished, challenging puzzle. I changed my puzzle idea twice, and when I finally came up with a good one, I had to take time to solve it myself. I feel this has been the best project I have ever completed in math. It was engaging and challenging, and I really learned about the geometry that was in my puzzle.

—Emma Jackson, 10th grade

To learn more about this project and others visit and Daisy Sharrock’s and Jeff Robin’s digital portfolios at &