In the latest Around Town column, news about a third grader sharing his love for soccer with the community and Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm's virtual visit to the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory last week.
ACHIEVING A GOAL ... There's nothing quite like the exhilaration of playing soccer, which recently brought professional players to the Euro 2020 tournament that Italy won on July 11. Third grader Jeffren Peraza helped gather local lovers of the sport to East Palo Alto on July 10 for a free soccer class organized through Thiebaut Method, a nonprofit that works with low-income youth on social good projects.
The event brought about 50 people to Rich May Memorial Field for an afternoon that demonstrated soccer fundamentals and the benefits of physical activity. In a video ahead of the class, Jeffren showcased the skills attendees would gain at the class, including ball taps, kicks, passes and dribbling obstacles. He also made connections with businesses and colleges in the area. The Willow Soccer in Menlo Park and Pro Soccer in Redwood City came through with equipment donations. Members of Stanford Women's Soccer, San Jose State University Men's Soccer, Cañada College Men's Soccer, The Reikes Center and East Palo Alto United Soccer Club came out to help teach the class.
"I did this because (soccer)'s my passion and I like it, and I wish everybody else liked it, too," Jeffren said in a post-event video.
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER ... The SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory operated by Stanford University welcomed Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm, albeit virtually, on July 8. For two hours over Zoom, she connected with staff and got a look at the research facilities in Menlo Park. Granholm also went on a tour of the lab's Linac Coherent Light Source X-ray laser, visited the Matter in Extreme Conditions experimental station that's used to test high temperatures and pressures in materials and viewed the world's largest digital camera for astronomy, according to a SLAC press release. Staff also gave presentations on machine learning, quantum technology and climate science.
In addition, Granholm discussed challenges with SLAC and Stanford researchers, such as "the sustainable generation of energy and products without depleting limited resources or accelerating climate change," the release states. The discussion veered into an issue that has been at the forefront of many industries in recent years: increasing diversity, equity and inclusion.
"The scientists and researchers at SLAC are a big reason why I call the Department of Energy 'America's Solutions Department,'" Granholm said in her concluding remarks shared in the press release. "They're deepening our understanding of how our world operates at the atomic level, unlocking new possibilities for better microchips and medicine and more."