Mountain View Voice

News - May 25, 2012

Community briefs

NASA launches updated app

A free updated version of NASA's application for iPhone and iPod touch, dubbed NASA App 2.0, was released on Monday.

Researchers at NASA's Ames Research Center, located near Mountain View in Moffett Field, California, constructed the app's new features.

The redesigned app, available only with iOS 5.0 or later, updates users on current NASA programs and contains a friendlier, easier-to-read interface. These updates include locations and other information about NASA visitor centers, as well as weather forecasts for the days and times that spacecraft will be visible from specific locations. Users can now also print and save selected information and images from these sections.

The revisions constitute the first considerable changes implemented since the app surfaced in 2009, said project manager Jerry Colen. According to NASA, the updated app has been downloaded by approximately 4.7 million users since its release.

Previous versions of NASA apps were downloaded 8.8 million times, and include information on the company's missions and space launches, as well as live streaming and on-demand videos of NASA television.

Students explore heritage through art

A fifth-grade class from Theuerkauf Elementary School has teamed up with fourth- and fifth-graders from Sunnyvale and San Jose on an art project that explores themes of multicultural understanding and pushes the children to expand their worldview.

Led by Pantea Karimi — an Iranian-born art teacher with the California School of Music — the project is essentially a collection of maps of neighborhoods throughout the South Bay. But instead of denoting streets, parks and streams, the maps are a patchwork of various symbols — all of which stand for the wide range of ethnicities and cultures the children represent. It is called My Homeland: Students Collaborative Art Project, and it is on display at the CSMA's Sobrato Gallery.

"I wanted this project to promote cross-cultural understanding," Karimi said. And by her account, she succeeded. The experience made the children appreciate themselves, their peers and the broader system in which they live. "It is very interesting that they are coming from other places and they also have this American experience. I wanted to emphasize that."

The exhibit will continue at the CSMA through May 29. It is free and open to the public from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday; Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. It was shown at Euphrat Museum of Art earlier in the month and it will go to the Mexican Heritage Plaza Art Gallery in June.

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