Oxbridge uses SMARTS — Science, Math, Arts, to design mini golf course

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Oxbridge Academy students try out a nine-hole miniature golf course designed and executed by math and arts classes. (Tony Doris / The Palm Beach Post)

Oxbridge Academy students have been playing miniature golf during school hours. But with the best of intentions.

More than 100 students at the high school on Military Trail participated in a project to design and build a nine-hole course using their SMARTS — science, math and arts — skills.

Some used geometry and the Pythagorean Theorum to design layouts and calculate proper placement of tee pads and holes. Others scaled up the blueprints to size. Woodshop skills came into play. Science students instructed sculpture students  about the physics behind simple mechanics.

The course, set in grass behind the main building, includes holes themed as a beach and lighthouse, a Hawaiian volcano, Dutch windmill, and the Eiffel Tower with the Great Wall of China.

Sculpture teacher and chair of visual arts Sarah Knouse, and math teacher Sheri Viggiano led students through the project. Prominent professional golf course designer Tom Fazio II, whose daughter attends the school, also consulted, and participated in Friday’s ribbon-cutting.

Fazio said that as a student he always complained about having to learn math and thinking he’d never use it. As it turned out, his work requires knowledge of architecture, engineering, building and math. “I use it every day,” he said.

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Tom Fazio II