String art event combines math and creativity

Zoe Morgan/Town Crier
Sophia Yurchenko creates a “string art” piece at Grant Park Thursday as part of a Los Altos Public Arts Commission activity.

Art and math are often viewed as two separate domains, with little overlap. However, a Los Altos Public Arts Commission event last week aimed to disprove that stereotype.

The commission organized a “string art” activity before last Thursday’s summer concert at Grant Park. Local high school volunteers showed younger kids how to create art by connecting wooden stakes in a circle with multicolored yarn and electrical tape.

Architecture camp engages kids in world around them

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Cris Chai, top, works on painting part of his design at DesignX’s summer camp.

Last week, a group of 16 kids managed to plan and build an entire neighborhood from scratch.

Granted, that neighborhood was only a 12-foot-by-12-foot model, but it was made to scale and complete with many of the details a real-life community would have.

Youth chorus focuses on 'music, movement and mindfulness'

Courtesy of Nick Briggs and Kristy Andrews
The Cantabile Youth Singers has 13 seniors graduating this year. Front row, from left: Ryan Chen, Katherine Wei, Josephine Jorgensen, Sophie Dewees and Jessica Carlson. Middle: Samantha Sasaki, Jennifer Jackson, Jerry Zhang and Karuna Dharan. Back: Ninaad Raman, Celia Malone, Ananya Saxena and Elanor Diffenbaugh.

When Elena Sharkova, artistic and managing director of the Los Altos-based chorus Cantabile Youth Singers, noticed that her students seemed exhausted and disconnected coming to rehearsals, she decided to remove all of the chairs from every rehearsal room. Instead, singers can sit on the floor if needed, but Sharkova said they rarely do.

“They constantly explore and learn music with movement, so if they sing a line, they are encouraged – and now really cannot even do it without actually moving with the line,” she said. “It’s music, movement and mindfulness. If you look at the line, how it actually looks in the air, you will be a much better singer because you’re engaging everything.”

Young 'patient hero' teaches classmates about his heart condition

Courtesy of Khan Lab school
Drew Yasutake and his mother, Vivian Vu, show a model of the human heart to Drew’s classmates at the Khan Lab School in 2017.

Looking at 8-year-old Drew Yasutake today, you’d never be able to guess that he was born with a congenital heart defect and had to undergo open heart surgery when he was just a few days old.

Drew was born with a relatively rare heart condition – pulmonary atresia with intact ventricular septum. The valve that controls blood flow from his heart to his lungs hadn’t formed properly.

Los Altos student recognized for social justice advocacy

Courtesy of Markus Zhang
Los Altos resident Jason Lin hosts a benefit concert for the Tahirih Justice Center. In April, Lin was named a Distinguished Finalist by the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards.

Little did Los Altos resident Jason Lin know that one stimulating talk could inspire him to give back to the cause he is passionate about – justice.

“I thought it was time that instead of talking about it in the debate round, maybe I could finally create some change in the real world,” Lin said.

After overcoming obstacles, MVHS alum faces bright future

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
In foster care since age 14, Kevelyn Duarte overcame many obstacles on the path to graduation.

When Kevelyn Duarte entered the foster care system at 14 years old, her entire life was upended. Just getting to school each day was a challenge.

Yet Duarte fought to get back on track and last week graduated on time with her class at Mountain View High School.

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