Wed09172014

News

Meet the Mountain View City Council candidates

Meet the Mountain View City Council candidates


Nine candidates have filed to run for three open seats on the Mountain View City Council in the Nov. 4 election – none of them incumbents. The Town Crier asked them to introduce themselves to readers in the following Q&A format. We knew the...

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Schools

LASD committee looks to rank campus improvement projects

LASD committee looks to rank campus improvement projects


Traci Newell/Town Crier
The Los Altos School District’s newly expanded Facilities Advisory Committee met for the first time last week. The 28-member committee’s first task is to prioritize campus improvement projects.

The Los Altos Scho...

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Community

Sports

New-look Lancers find their footing

New-look Lancers find their footing


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Jenna Adams, left, and Carly Deale attempt to bump the ball Friday night. The juniors combined for 28 kills.

This year’s St. Francis High girls volleyball team faintly resembles last season’s squad ...

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Special Sections

MV Whisman teachers cite low pay

MV Whisman teachers cite low pay


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
An estimated 75 supporters of higher teacher pay turned out for the Sept. 4 Mountain View Whisman School District board meeting.

Teachers, trustees and administrators are recovering from a dramatic Mountain View Whism...

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Business

Skin rejuvenation studio joins Rancho

Skin rejuvenation studio joins Rancho


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Esthetician Marjan Kashi showcases one of the treatment rooms at her new studio, Pure Serenity Skincare at Rancho Shopping Center. Kashi provides services including microdermabrasion and various light and heat energy the...

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Books

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation


During World War II, Virgilia Short Witzel, a young mother and U.S. Navy officer’s wife, grappled on the home front in Menlo Park with wartime rationing, shortages and loneliness. During the ensuing Cold War, she experienced adventure and misadventur...

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People

JERALD (JERRY) NELSON CHRISTIANSEN

JERALD (JERRY) NELSON CHRISTIANSEN

Resident of San Jose and Los Altos, California

July 21, 1931 to August 4, 2014

Born in Arimo, Idaho, to Jerald Emmett and Rebecca Henderson Nelson Christiansen. Raised in Davis and Riverside, California, with summers in Downey, Idaho, and in Loga...

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Travel

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska


Sandy Powell/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos resident and bird photographer Sandy Powell recently visited Homer, Alaska, to photograph Sandhill cranes, below. While there, Powell also encountered moose, left.

Los Altos resident Sandy Powell, a...

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Stepping Out

Pear puts on a pair of plays

Pear puts on a pair of plays


J. Smith/Special to the Town Crier
Dan Kapler (as Teddy) and Betsy Kruse Craig (Trish) star in Pear Avenue Theatre’s “House.”

The Pear Avenue Theatre production of two interlocking comedies by Alan Ayckbourn – “House&...

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Spiritual Life

Back to Church Sunday offers opportunity to recommit

The children in Los Altos are back to school, and I can still hear parents cheering. Summer is officially over, even if the calendar doesn’t quite think so.

Parents have attended Back to School nights to meet their children’s teachers. B...

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Magazine

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living


Courtesy of Spectrum Interior Design
In place of a more traditional fireplace, this modern living room features a linear-flame firebox that emits heat while offering a sculpturelike design element.

After traveling the world and visiting a host...

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LASD partners with zSpace to enhance STEM curriculum


Traci Newell/Town Crier
The Los Altos School District launched a partnership with zSpace, Inc. a company that designs units offering a 3-D personal computing experience.

The Los Altos School District recently joined forces with zSpace Inc., a startup that produces 3-D visualization stations, to boost its Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) curriculum.

The zSpace system re-creates the standard personal computing experience into an immersive and interactive 3-D environment, commonly used in the business world for computing, creating and visualizing but now being pioneered in local schools as a learning tool.

The zSpace unit, which includes a screen, lightweight glasses and a stylus, enhances the 3-D experience. The glasses track the position of the user’s eyes to determine the appropriate plane of vision. The stylus can be used to reach into the screen and pull out an object to hover in a different area.

The district piloted the equipment with fifth-graders at Covington School during their study of the heart. Using the equipment, students could see a beating, fully functioning heart and dissect it using the stylus, which simulated the heart’s beats. With clicks of the stylus, students could peel off layers of the heart to peer into particular veins and chambers.

After their tryout at Covington, the zSpace units moved to Santa Rita School. The district acquired another set of units for use at Springer and Gardner Bullis schools this year. Students at Egan Junior High and Blach Intermediate schools can also experience zSpace technology, possibly in math courses.

“Through our partnership with zSpace, we will help develop and expand STEM learning tools in Earth, space, physical and life sciences for students in third through eighth grades,” said Alyssa Gallagher, district director of strategic initiatives and community partnerships. “Should the first two phases of our pilot be successful, we plan to engage all nine Los Altos School District schools in phase three, beginning fall 2014.”

Gallagher said the district’s teachers and STEM coaches are collaborating with zSpace employees to identify which units would be most appropriate to integrate into district classrooms.

It is a mutually beneficial relationship, according to Gallagher, because district teachers can provide feedback to the zSpace team to help them optimize technology for students in the future.

“Our benefit is that our students and teachers are getting exposure in the very early stages,” she said. “We have the ability to help shape and craft this technology the way we wish to use it in the classroom.”

For more information, visit zspace.com.

The Town Crier presents: 3-D tools for schools

Los Altos schools explore a 3-D world of learning

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