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Students win golf geometry contest



Golf winnersA trio of Tech Valley High School are seeing the immediate result of learning - and the result is sweet.

The students won ice cream in addition to a season's pass for miniature golfing at Oasis Family Funplex in North Greenbush for their design of a miniature golf hole in an "above par" lesson on geometry.

The freshmen - Sara Savoia, from Cairo, Samuel Walczyk, Lansingburgh, and Alyssa Decker, Rensselaer - won the contest with a music-themed miniature golf hole, a design deemed more interesting and informative than the seven others submitted by classmates. The designs were judged by teachers and business people who reviewed the students' work at TVHS.

Students in Nicole Gallo's and Mary VanHoomissen's SPLIT class recently completed the golf project in  SPLIT class - a combination geometry and English class. The students spent a morning at the Oasis Family Funplex gathering measurements and determining angles for effective golf holes. They also interviewed the facility's owner.

VanHoomissen said the project involves students developing an effective strategy for playing mini golf using geometry as a guide. 

Based on student interviews, the project worked.

"I learned the angle you hit the ball is the same angle that it bounces back," said Zach Ruschmeyer, who attends TVHS from The Averill Park. "I also learned that I stink at miniature golf." "It was interesting to see how the angles are so important," added James Santoro, from Catskill. And that was exactly the message meant to be delivered by the learning trip: Math is everywhere.