There’s been some dust over at Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority lately.
After the shelter picked up the Mountain View contract for animal services last May, it became clear that the small facility on Thomas Road might not be large enough to cater to the influx of animals. Since the building is still fairly new, moving to another location wasn’t an option. So, in order to expand, SVACA got creative.
“This is our old volunteer room,” said Shelter Manager Michael Limper of the gutted space near the shelter’s bunny area. “This is going to be a cat adoption space. We’re going to put two big rooms in here, similar to the big room in front, with a big window on each side.”
“We’re hoping, it depends on if we have cats or kittens, but [room for] six to twelve,” he continued. “If it’s kittens, we will have at least 12; if it’s adults, at least six. At times we can fit up to five in a room - depending on if they all get along. With kittens, we can sometimes do eight or nine, depending on how big they are.”
In addition to the two new spaces for cats, the shelter is adding six dog rooms in what was the shelter’s storage area.
“We will take down [a current room] and make a hallway so we have two adoption spaces. Folks can go into [the current room] and then walk through a hallway to get to this room...We will be able to fit at least six to eight dogs in here.”
“Last year, my son came home from school and gave me a flier from his science teacher announcing the Tech Challenge [hosted by The Tech Museum],” says Amit Saha, a resident of Santa Clara and product manager at Symantec. “My son, Anish, wondered if he should do this. I said, ‘let’s do it,’ and that’s how I became a mentor [to him and his team].”
Last year, Anish and five of his friends, all students at Millikin Basics+ Elementary School, entered the Tech Challenge and won second place in the 5th-6th grade division. The boys have since graduated from Millikin and are now 6th graders in middle school. Though not all of them attend the same school, they remain friends and reunited to enter the competition again. At the event on April 20 Anish and his team won the grand prize for the 5th-6th grade division for their support of the 2013 theme, Asteroids Rock.
“Our objective was to land three devices or more onto three different terrains,” says Rikesh Mehta, a student at Discovery Charter School. “The first terrain was a flat, sandy area. The second terrain was a slanted rocky area. The third terrain was a flat area with a wall cutting through it.”
The students designed and created the devices as well as the catapult to launch them.
“The devices that we used were triangular pyramids made out of grass, rock, and cable,” says Thomas Panasyuk, a student at Peterson Middle School. “The three devices successfully landed on the three terrains in 46 seconds.”
“We based the design of our catapult on the medieval catapult,” says Shone Patil, a student at Peterson Middle School. “Our idea was based off that because it’s a very consistent design. You can hit the target again and again.”