The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

History of Clubs

Since Los Altos High School’s beginning, clubs have been a large part of student activities on campus. They involve a majority of the school’s population in activities that are unique to student interests. As the school itself continues to change, the different types of clubs present at the school have followed suit.

Founded in 2005, the Knit Together Club was chartered with the intention of keeping students out of trouble and benefiting the community. The club knits beanies for both profit and donation, with any proceeds going to various organizations and to underprivileged people on the street.

“It’s a way for high school students to come together at a sober event that was also a non-profit event,” Knit Together President junior Lambie Lanman said.

Throughout the years, the Knit Together Club has donated to the community in different ways. One year, the club supported the building of a school in Burma; another, students went to San Francisco and donated the beanies to homeless people.

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“They weren’t [just] some kids in a room … now they were the same kids on the street, actually passing out the hats that they made,” Knit Together club advisor Michael Smith said.

Continuing into the future, the club’s main goal is to keep students out of trouble and to have a positive impact on the local communities.

“We should continue to increase and push for programs and clubs that have this alternative,” Smith said.

In addition to the Knit Together Club, the Robotics club, formed around 16 years ago, is quickly gaining the interest of students and staff. Last year, during the Spring Sports Assembly, the club had the opportunity to showcase its hoop-shooting robot and has been in the spotlight since. The robotics season consists of designing a robot over the course of six weeks to complete a specific challenge.

The team has dealt with many different situations over the years, such as funding issues and huge amounts of competition. Yet, the team has also had periods of success, which are partially a result of rebuilding the team itself.

“About four years ago, there was a huge group of seniors that was pretty much the entire team and they graduated,” robotics Co-captain senior Adam Evard said. “From then on it’s been kind of been rebuilding, almost starting from scratch with the team. We came in as freshmen, the second year after the seniors have graduated. Every year, we’ve done significantly better.”

Furthermore, technology has played an integral role in the development of the team, with gradual adjustments in the software and machines being used every year.

“We’ve incorporated new technologies and new equipment so as a team we have resources in our own shop like tools, heavy machine tools, that we’ve gathered that over years,” Robotics Co-captain senior Lucien Miller said. “We’ve gotten new computers this year and we’re using a new software called Designer Works so as the years go on, we get access to these new resources we could use.”

This year, the club has also become a class, taught during seventh period by science teacher Karen Davis.

“For the first year, we’re trying to get everyone to a proficient level on pretty much the basics of the robot,” Adam said. “In the past we’ve had years where there’s been a knowledge drop-off a group of seniors who are really involved in robotics graduate. With the class, we’re trying to make it [so] that knowledge stays and so it’s easier.”

This move could potentially strengthen robotics as a whole, pushing it further in the right direction. Yet, while the school has been focusing on improving the campus, others have also been an advocate for international aid.

The Haiti Solidarity Club was founded by Libby Strichartz and Alex Cala, ‘11, after One Dollar for Life (ODFL) went on a trip three years ago. Since then, Haiti Solidarity has been fundraising for Haiti through car washes, support letters, art auctions, open mic nights and benefit concerts. The club also organized a fundraiser to donate medical supplies to Haiti. In addition, the club visits Haiti twice a year during February break and the summer.

“I think visiting Haiti gives people a perspective on what is really important, and obviously helps everyone appreciate what they have,” Haiti Solidarity President Amanda Spielman said. “The week we spend in Haiti is a huge educational experience as well as a service experience. It’s honestly hard to express it in words. I am just so stoked to see how many people have expressed interests in going.”

Now the school also has a sister school in Haiti, SOPUDEP, because of the club’s presence in the country.

“Having a sister school connects LAHS on an international level,” Amanda said. “It’s something established and I think in some senses it creates a concrete goal we can work towards supporting, together … I think in the future it can even unite our high school as a whole with a common goal in mind. I also believe that in the future there can be more of a direct relationship between our students and our sister school’s students in Haiti to me, that is so exciting.”

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