My Animations

Get Bent EL
What is PBL
Why PBL is important
Planning and letting go
How To Schedule PBL
Authentic Education
What PBL is not
Ping-Pong Collaboration
Peanut Butter Cup Collaboration
Notice and Connect
Curation is Art
Reflection Project
Cover Your A**
Voice and Choice
Real Student Engagement
What Kind of Teacher
Equity in the Classroom
Textbook Me Not
Common Core
Do Something
Timing of PBL
Animation Workbook

Staircase To Nowhere Fall 2015


In the fall of 2015 our students will design staircases. They will create scale models and full size "staircases to nowhere" around the school. Using trigonometry and physics they will design a 1:10 staircase themselves. With a partner they will design and build a 1:5 scale staircase and with a party of 10 they will create life size staircases to nowhere at various locations in the school. It is a conceptual art piece physics and math project.

20th Century Box Spring 2015

Students picked a subject that they were interested in from the Twentieth Century. Not a subject that they are an expert in, rather one that they are interested in. They then created four written and illustrated works and an artifact about their subject. They then exhibited their work in a cigar box that they altered to represent their subject.

The Four writings were: Assumption at 0 (what you think the subject is about and why you chose it), Research (to find a historical consensus), Primary Documents, and a Historical Fiction (students will write a story about their subject).   
Student's Work Book
Primary Document Book on Lulu

Immigrant or Refugee Fall 2014

The students will interview Immigrants or Refugees telling their stories of coming to this country, their ideas about home, loss and new beginnings. The students will draw, collage, paint and use video and sound to tell these stories.  

Art, the Social Vortex Spring 2014

Each student will investigate an idea in art:, they may focus on themes, style, mediums, or formal artistic elements throughout time, place and cultures. We will start to study antiquity and let the inertia of discovery plant the seed for a topic.  
High Tech High - DermTech Fall 2014

When I told my semi-retired pathologist father that I was collaborating with a biology teacher, he got really excited (as only a scientist would) and told me he was working with a new company called DermTech that’s developed a new test for Melanoma --and has no art on the walls.

He went on to say that if my students studied the etiology, pathogenesis, inheritance, clinical presentation, diagnosis, and treatment of melanoma, they would learn all they needed about 11th grade biology. I was hooked (or caught!) and presented the idea to my teaching partner. 
With the assistance of the DermTech molecular biology team, our students began to study the diagnosis, testing, prevention and treatment of Melanoma and transformed that knowledge into paintings that tell the story of growth, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. 

With the guidance of the DermTech scientists and other healthcare professionals, the students learned the science to create the plan and the metaphor for their painting. The pairs of students learned to divide responsibilities and leverage each others’ strengths through this real-world workplace experience.
All I had to do was get the students to make great artwork about a subject they and I were still learning about: No problem.
Book of Student Work on
The New Path of the Buddha Spring 2014

The New Path of the Buddha is an interdisciplinary project between Art and English. The students will develop a new Buddha story using the vernacular of a specific time and place.  They will need to do visual and idiomatic research and synthesizes the story of the Buddha in this new place and time. Then they must tell their new story.

Behold, High Tech High Fall 2013

A Partnership with San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art

This project began in May 2012 when the education directors from the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art La Jolla, Anne Kindseth and Christina Scorza, contacted my teaching partner, Kelly Williams, and I. They asked if we wanted to bring our students for multiple visits to the museum so that they would gain a greater understanding of the artwork and have a chance to make their own art as well.

Kelly and I presented the project idea to the students and called it Behold, High Tech High! The project entailed three visits to the SDCMA, research of the art, and an exploration of the concept of frontiers. Then students would ultimately present what they learned at a showcase at the museum.

55 Word Short Stories with Collage Fall 2013

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Ghosts. Phobias. Memories. Love. Lust. Death.

All topics covered in stories of only 55 words. Storytelling in its leanest, most fun and challenging form. Every word matters. Only the essential to advance the plot is necessary. Success depends not on lengthbut on depth. It’s a shorter short story. –Kelly Williams (my team teacher)

7.7 Mile Box  47 Students Fall 2013

As a team of 47, we walked and drove to Bird Rock Coffee Roasters 5627 La Jolla Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92037 from High Tech High 2861 Womble Rd, San Diego, CA 92106, a total of 7.7 miles. It took 3 hours just what google maps said it would take, however we had a 12'x4'x8" boxs with us.
Watch Video, music donated By Namism


Graphic Novel Spring 2013
Weclome to the Monkey House
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This project is homage to Kurt Vonnegut and the 20th century. The students will study, discus and debate the short stories in Vonnegut’s Welcome to the Monkey House. The stories were all first published in magazines like Collier's, Saturday Evening Post and Playboy from 1950 to 1962.

The subjects rang from 1950’s predictions of the end of civilization, the space race and men coming home from the Korean War. Then the students will deconstruct the stories and re-specify those stories using images and text.

Mater to Master Fall 2013


I went to the LA Louver gallery in Venice Beach and saw an inspirational show. Artists like David Hockney, Tom Wudl and Rebecca Campbell and other Contemporary Masters were showing work that was inspired by an old master’s paintings and sculptures. My students emulate this idea using the the themes and compositions of Old Masters and the Style of Modern or Contemporary Masters.

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The Show in the News

Motive and Motif Fall

We are going to go to San Diego Museum of art. There we will discover artists that we may or may not have heard of.

Each student will take a painting and find the artist’s motive for creating the work and the motifs that inspirited them. 
Then using the Artist's Motive and Motif each student will make a painting or sculpture.

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In this project an Art teacher (Jeff Robin) and a Physics teacher (Andrew Gloag) had students design posters to teach the California State Physics standards. We concentrated on the first two realms of the standards which cover mechanics and Newtonian physics. The physics concepts were presented as explanations for the images they put together and painted.

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Get Bent

This year Andrew Gloag (Physics& Math) and I did a project with our students called “Get Bent”. The idea came from us working together in the past where we used art and calculus to explain each other. It was called “Calculicious making calculus delicious”.  This year we decided to try and move in a different direction, just a little bit. Get Bent will uses three-dimensional geometry, calculus and physics to explain design of chairs, lamps and to write a books about the experience.

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Get Bent in SD Mag.

Economics Illustrated

Dan Wise and I shared 45 students that studied and wrote about economic theories in his class and illustrated them in mine. This was not easy; the concepts were complex and sometimes difficult to explain and convey with images. The students worked hard to understand and explain their concepts, and Dan and I worked hard on not killing each other. There were hundreds of linoleum prints, and posters explaining their work, and a book on that features their best work. I would like to thank Kai Wells for helping put the book together.



In January 2010 my intersession class went to Rome. Mostly to see ate, but also for the experience. I shot the trip with my I Phone, and made a B&W book on Blurb. It’s about $10, check it out it might give you ideas.


Calculicious Spring 2009
Calculicious was a cross-curricular project between me and Andrew Gloag, the Calculus teacher.We came up with the title of the project and logo before we even decided what the project would really be. We both knew that art has math and math has art, so I guess it was faith.

The students designed their Watercolors, Acrylic Paintings and Sculptures using the calculus that they learned in class. We later exhibited the work at the San Diego Airport. You can purchase a book ofour work at:



The Blood Bank Project
This project was a collaboration between the San Diego Blood Bank and High Tech High seniors. It was also a collaboration between the Biology / Multimedia Teacher and the Art teacher.
The students learned about blood, blood diseases, blood in the body, blood banking, and blood politics. They also educated the community and brought awareness to the issues that surround our San Diego Blood Bank.



Analog Flash for Windows

This project was meant to focus the students' minds around the concept that they were either making art about Physics and Engineering or using physics and engineering to make Art.
We decided to use the school’s interior window boxes as a constraint and to display their work. The 24 x 24 x 5 inch windows were perfect for: Analog Flash for Windows. Analog: because most of the projects are mechanical. Flash: references the program for interactivity. For Windows: not for PC but the actual windows at High Tech High.
The Steam Acceleration Project

This project joins physics, art, multimedia and storytelling. Groups of two students will develop an animation about a modern physics concepts and real life examples that make the physics accessible to everyone. The students will also produce a study guide so that the viewer will have a place to take notes, a chance to try different formulas and derive their own understanding from these resources that the students have produced.
    Stairway to Nowhere  
    Post Christo  
*Not approved by anyone at HTH, please don't call my boss to complain.