Watch these cool Asians teach you some math

CAAM videos use cultural and artistic diversity to teach middle school math lessons.

Angry Asian Man:

This is pretty cool. The Center for Asian American Media has produced a series of short videos that use cultural and artistic diversity — and a little bit of ukulele — to teach middle school math lessons.The 2-5 minute videos were produced, written and directed by Kar Yin Tham, CAAM’s director of education initiatives, who says she wanted to make diversity “the central starting point” in the lessons.”The challenge was to figure out what math concepts were inherent in each artistic or cultural tradition, and how to best present them. To accomplish this, we collaborated with math educators, artists, musicians, and community based organizations.

Some of the collection’s highlights include:

Ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro demonstrates the relationship between music and math:Fencing Junior Olympian Kaitlyn Tran uses math and division to show how she can win a match:

Graffiti artist Scape Martinez using math to plan how much paint he needs for a mural.

Each 2-5 minute video, part of PBS LearningMedia‘s educational collection, comes with lesson plans and activities, and are aligned with the new Common Core standards.

For further information, go here.

To see all of the CAAM-produced videos in the collection, go here.


Olympic gold medalist Kristi Yamaguchi to host a special 3-episode series “Japanese American Lives” on PBS



Olympic gold medalist Kristi Yamaguchi will host a special three episode series Japanese American Lives on PBS.

Presented by the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM), the programs will explore the “rich and diverse history of Japanese Americans with stories that go beyond the history books.”

The first episode Mrs. Judo: Be Strong, Be Gentle, Be Beautiful  will feature the story of Keiko Fukuda. She is the highest ranking woman in judo history, earning a 10th degree black belt. The episode is directed by Yuriko Gamo Romer. Fukuda died last year at the age of 99.

Check out this link:

Kristi Yamaguchi to host “Japanese American Lives” on PBS


Tessanne Chin (The Voice) and Taku Hirano (Team-Yellow founder) at the White House

Tessanne Chin (The Voice) and Taku Hirano (Team-Yellow founder) at the White House

Here’s a photo from last week’s White House concert “Women of Soul“, in which Tessanne Chin and Taku Hirano performed.

Hailing from Kingston, Jamaica, Tessanne Chin was the most recent winner of The Voice, and performed alongside Patti LaBelle, Melissa Etheridge, Ariana Grande, Jill Scott, and Janelle Monáe. Taku Hirano, creator and founder of Team-Yellow was part of the house band backing all the artists.


Q&A: Meena Alexander on Her Latest Poems, Politics and Sense of Place


Meena Alexander, a poet and scholar, seems to be in perpetual motion. She spent much of her early years living in different landscapes, from India to Sudan, to England. Today, Alexander calls New York City home, where she’s an English professor at the City University of New York.

But Alexander is far from “settled.” She continues to write prolifically as an award-winning poet and literary scholar who explores migration, the politics of place and the trauma of dislocation. Her work is that of a traveler who helps readers see how a place — something that feels so static — can actually be both dynamic and unsettling.

This is especially evident in her newest collection of poems, “Birthplace with Buried Stones” (September 2013, Northwestern University Press, 140pp. $16.95). The poem “Experimental Geography,” excerpted from the book, was recently featured on the PBS NewsHour’s poetry series and captures the powerful sense of fragmentation that permeates much of the book.

Check out this link for the interview:

Q&A: Meena Alexander on Her Latest Poems, Politics and Sense of Place


PBS celebrates Asian American literary pioneers


PBS focuses on a few forgotten early Asian American pioneering poets that paved the way for the stellar contemporary writers mentioned previously in this column, like Sesshu Foster, Amy UyematsuChiwan ChoiTraci Kato-KiriyamaEdren Sumagaysay, Cathy Park Hong, and musicians and artists like Tracy WannomaeAlan Nakagawa, DJ RhettmaticPrach Ly, and Yayoi Kusama, among countless others.

Asian American” is an umbrella term for descendants from several countries and the large expanse of geography stretching from Siberia to the Philippines.

Author Ronald Takaki adds, “Asian Americans are diverse, their roots dating back to China, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, India, Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. Many of them live in Chinatowns, the colorful streets filled with sidewalk vegetable stands and crowds of people carrying shopping bags; their communities are also called Little Tokyo, Koreatown, and Little Saigon.

Check out this link:

PBS celebrates Asian American literary pioneers