05282017Sun
Last updateTue, 30 May 2017 5pm

LAHS students decode the mysteries of biodiversity


Jane Ridgeway/Town Crier
Los Altos High student Devon Tompane, above, delicately transfers extracted DNA to an agarose gel for her class’s International Barcode for Life project.

From oak woodlands to lush riverbanks and dry chaparral shrublands, the Santa Clara Valley’s natural environment is home to a diverse array of flora and fauna – for now.

For scientists who study biodiversity, the effects of climate change and habitat destruction present an urgent problem, according to Los Altos High School science teacher Meghan Strazicich. Only a fraction of plant and animal species have been discovered, identified and scientifically classified. If only a handful of experts are doing this identification work, the rate of species extinction may outpace that of scientific discovery.

High school girls pair with Stanford at Coding Camp


Celeste Tran/SPECIAL TO THE Town Crier
Local high school students join forces with Stanford University mentors to create original programs at a previous Girls Teaching Girls to Code event.

Stanford University’s Girls Teaching Girls to Code program sponsored its fifth annual Code Camp last week, inviting high school girls interested in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math fields to learn from Stanford women mentors.

Approximately 200 high school girls and 40 Stanford mentors attended this year’s Code Camp, including students from Los Altos, Mountain View, Homestead and St. Francis high schools. The event aims to help girls new to STEM subjects learn programming basics, and offers different tracks in computer science with topics ranging from web development to virtual reality.

BCS students share their voices at Mandarin Speech Contest


Courtesy of Stacey Walter
Bullis Charter School students take home top honors for their fluency in Mandarin Chinese at the state speech competition last month.

Bullis Charter School students participated in record numbers at the state Mandarin Speech Contest April 22, organized by the Chinese Language Teachers Association of California.

Of the 31 Bullis Charter School students competing, eight placed first in their categories, with four placing second and 10 receiving honorable mentions. This was the school’s eighth year competing in the contest, which includes categories for students from first grade through college.

LASD students fly high and set records in Junior Olympics


Above and Bottom Right photos by Bill Witte/Special to the Town Crier; bottom left by Sharon Tan/Special to the Town CrierMarcus Ting, above, from left, Louis Tirache, Tomoya Ueda and Michael Vaisberg represent their schools (Springer, Santa Rita, Covington and Oak Avenue, respectively), during a hurdles event at the 57th annual Junior Olympics April 29. Springer students Megan Chung and Lance Kluge, below left, carry the torch for their school around the Mountain View High track. Santa Rita students Ainsley Witte and Jadyn Ye, below right, take flight as they run the hurdles.

With families cheering in the stands, flags waving and school colors painted across faces, Los Altos School District fourth- through sixth-graders competed in the 57th annual Junior Olympics April 29 at Mountain View High School, surpassing records in multiple events.

New club launches LAHS students to high-tech leading edge


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos High students Maxwell Liu, left, and Ravi Krishna show off the autonomous “ShadowCart.”

A new machine-learning club at Los Altos High School has propelled local students into the still budding world of self-driving cars.

Since forming the Electric Dreams club in March, freshmen Ravi Krishna and Maxwell Liu have led more than 30 peers in building an autonomous model car.

Almond panel discusses gender beyond the binary


Courtesy of Dr. Jill Hagenkord
Dr. Jill Hagenkord speaks at Almond School with her sons, Almond fourth-grader Mark Tanner, left, and Egan seventh-grader Cade Maw.

Local families, along with Los Altos School District faculty and staff, attended a panel at Almond School last week addressing how adults can support transgender and gender nonconforming youth.

Much of the discussion centered on transgender children, who identify with a gender different from the sex they were assigned at birth. But Almond’s school psychologist Kristi Clouser also emphasized that creating a safe, supportive environment benefits a wide range of kids – from the boy who wants to grow his hair out to the girl who prefers sports gear to pink frills.


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