Mon09152014

News

Council approves directional signs for Los Altos' Woodland Plaza

Council approves directional signs for Los Altos' Woodland Plaza


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council last week approved the installation of two new directional signs on Foothill Expressway pointing motorists to the Woodland Plaza Shopping District.

The Los Altos City Council voted unanimou...

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Schools

New head of curriculum’s ideologies align with LASD

New head of curriculum’s ideologies align with LASD


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Edsel Clark, new Los Altos School District assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, above, facilitates a junior high mathematics curriculum meeting last week.

Edsel Clark, Ed.D., new assistant superintend...

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Community

Closing reception caps Foothill photo show on rural China

Closing reception caps Foothill photo show on rural China


From IncredibleTravelPhotos.com
Jacque Kae’s “Mischievous” is one of the many photographs on display at Foothill College this month.

Photographs of the land and culture of Huangshan and Zhangjiajie, China, are on exhibit through Sept. 26 at t...

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Sports

Spartans shine in opener

Spartans shine in opener


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mountain View High’s Frank Kapp snares a touchdown pass from quarterback Owen Mountford in Friday’s win.

Leading by a point at halftime, the Mountain View High football team outscored visiting Del Mar 20-0 the rest of...

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Comment

A look ahead to the Nov. 4 election: Editorial

Election season is upon us. In Los Altos, we have three major local races ahead – two seats on the Los Altos City Council, and three seats each on the Los Altos School District and Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District boards of tr...

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Special Sections

Renovation complete,  Villa Siena looks to future

Renovation complete, Villa Siena looks to future


Above and Below Photos Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier; Left Photo Courtesy of Villa Siena
Villa Siena in Mountain View recently underwent a $35 million face-lift. The five-year project expanded their senior living community’s space and ability to serv...

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Business

Transitioning from postage to pets

Transitioning from postage to pets


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A new Pet Food Express store is scheduled to open at the Blossom Valley Shopping Center this month.

A site that previously existed to meet postal service needs will soon have an entirely different purpose – serving pe...

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Books

‘The Humans’ transcends alien genre to glean human insights

‘The Humans’ transcends alien genre to glean human insights


A good story about aliens is always great fun to read – after all, it’s only by attempting to understand the human race from another perspective that we can see ourselves more objectively.

But readers who might be tempted to dismiss ye...

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People

JEANNE PACKARD

After suffering a stroke in May, Jeanne Packard died August 10, 2014 at age 83. She was born in 1931 in Berlin, Germany, the only child of Emily Channel and Frank Howe Packard of Chicago, IL. Jeanne is survived by 5 great grandchildren. She was a lon...

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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

'Trailer Park' opens in Los Altos

'Trailer Park' opens in Los Altos


Courtesy of Los
The cast of Los Altos Stage Company’s “The Great American Trailer Park Musical” includes, from left, Mylissa Malley as Lin, Vanessa Alvarez as Betty, and Christina Bolognini as Pickles. Altos Stage Company

Los Altos Stage Company...

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Spiritual Life

9/11 survivor Michael Hingson finds purpose

Imagine walking down 78 flights of stairs – 1,463 individual steps. You are in imminent danger as you walk, unsure whether you can make it out of the building before it collapses or explodes. Struggling for each breath, you smell the heavy sten...

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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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