Schools Briefs

Los Altos High seeks STEAM volunteers

Los Altos High School teachers are recruiting volunteers to participate in the new STEAM Academy, aimed at creating a pathway for students to engage in a four-year course of study in science, technology, engineering, arts and math that enables them to gain career technical experience and skills needed to be successful in college.

Teachers seek professionals from local industries, universities and the community to participate on an advisory board supporting the development and direction of the academy.

The objective, according to STEAM Academy organizers, is for students at the end of their experience to successfully tackle industry problems to generate real-world solutions. It’s a great opportunity, they added, to work with educators and inspire future STEAM innovators.

To volunteer for the advisory board, visit and complete the form by Nov. 17.

For more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Foothill hosts talk on search for new planets

Astrophysicist Natalie Batalha of NASA’s Kepler Project is scheduled to deliver an illustrated, nontechnical presentation, “A Planet for Goldilocks: Searching for Earth 2.0 Among the Stars,” 7 p.m. tonight in Smithwick Theater at Foothill College, 12345 S. El Monte Road, Los Altos Hills.

The free talk is part of the Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series, now in its 18th year.

Finding evidence of life beyond Earth is one of the primary goals of science agencies around the world. NASA’s Kepler Mission launched in 2009 with the objective of finding “Goldilocks” planets – “not too hot, not too cold” – orbiting other stars like the sun. Batalha will offer an overview of the science legacy of the Kepler Mission and other key planet discoveries and will preview what’s to come by highlighting the missions soon to launch and those on the drawing board.

Batalha earned a doctoral degree in astrophysics from UC Santa Cruz. She has been involved with the Kepler Mission since the proposal stage and has contributed to many different aspects of the science, from studying the stars to detecting and understanding the planets they harbor. She served 10 years as professor of physics and astronomy at San Jose State University before joining NASA Ames Research Center. In 2011, she was awarded a NASA Public Service Medal. In 2017, Time Magazine named her to its list of 100 Most Influential People in the World.

Founded in 1999, the series runs on six Wednesdays during the school year at Foothill. Co-sponsors include the Foothill College Astronomy Program, the SETI Institute, the Astronomical Society of the Pacific and NASA Ames Research Center.

Admission is free, but parking is $3 (exact change required). Attendees are advised to arrive early to locate parking.

To view past lectures in the series, visit

For more information, visit

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