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Sketchup-ur-space Magazine - June 14

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Woodland Poly on the map - the Google map

Some 33 students from Woodland Polytechnic Academy and 10 adults had the very unique privilege of touring Google's headquarters in Mountain View on Feb. 2.

"When Udi Manber, from Google, came to our school and spoke about his $30 billion company and the hundreds of millions of searches every day from all over the world, and their cafeteria with free food 24 hours a day, I never dreamed I would be able to go there," stated Woodland Poly student Kassandra Sanchez. "Our tour of Google was great, but I especially enjoyed the cultural experience, seeing people from different countries, and the cafeteria that featured just about any kind of cuisine."

"Let's plan on doing this every year! That was a great visit. I loved seeing how the kids' eyes opened up. I wish I could do this everyday," Udi Manber, Google's vice president of Engineering, emailed within an hour after the visit.

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The day's tour began with a special gift presented to Woodland Poly by Manber - a large sign he created from software that tells a digital design to speak to a router spindle. Illustrating this amazing technology, students were presented a video showing the process of the sign's creation, incorporating the school's name and its mascot the buffalo.

Following the presentation, it was time for class - Google style. Every visitor sat before a laptop and found the Woodland Poly campus through Google Earth, a free download. Then it was time to build more classrooms, in every shape and size, onto the

campus using SketchUp, a user-friendly CAD program that is also a free download created by Google.

"For those of us who were able to visit Google, we enjoyed it immensely. I was thrilled after we learned Sketch-Up. I went home and downloaded the free version. I created this house/lot that consisted of a main house, a three-car garage with upstairs apartment, plus a nice cobblestone fence surrounding the acreage. Thank you so much," echoed Woodland Poly student, Kenneth Barber.

For Google, great just isn't good enough.

Manber surprised the students and even a number of employees with a special viewing of the Google Street Trike.

Beginning with Google maps, Google Earth, and Google Street View, users can now view parks, trails university campuses and even sports stadiums through the 360-degree camera shots and GPS unit on the Google Street Trike. Excited to tell Woodland Poly students all about the Street Trike, Google developer Dan Ratner allowed the students an up-close demonstration.

"Thanks for the opportunity to talk with your wonderful students and faculty today about science, engineering, and Google's Street View Trike. I'm so happy that Woodland now has such a great charter school!," stated Ratner.

The students were even more surprised to learn of the Google - Woodland connection with Ratner purchasing trailers and hardware from Johnson Manufacturing and Tractor Supply.

"Johnson Manufacturing of Woodland is the exclusive supplier of trailers to Google, Inc, of Mountain View. Over the past five years, Google has purchased a total of 16 cargo trailers and enclosed snowmobile trailers from Johnson Manufacturing. The trailers have been customized to carry specialized vehicles and electronic equipment used for recording images and for detailed mapping of the western U.S. including the Sierra Nevada Mountains," explained Kirk Friedman, owner, Johnson Manufacturing.

"It was wonderful to get a look at such an amazing business as Google, but to watch and listen to the students was an extra treat," shared Woodland Chamber of Commerce Immediate Past President, Jim Hilliard.

Woodland Polytechnic Academy is a tuition-free public charter school that opened last fall.

Woodland Poly is accepting applications for the current 2011-12 school year. Applications are available at Woodland Poly's campus located on the Yolo County Fairgrounds or on its website.

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