Los Altos Academy of Engineering
Bob Franz
Robert Franz began teaching at Los Altos High School in 1979 and founded the Los Altos Academy of Engineering in 1989. As a Computer Science and Robotics teacher, Franz found a passion for teaching young students about technology. He saw an opportunity to expand his Robotics class with grants and the help of local universities. Franz was ultimately able to develop the Robotics class into the Los Altos Academy of Engineering.

As the head advisor, Franz led the Los Altos Academy of Engineering to many achievements. From the first competition in the Phoenix Solar Electric 500 to 1st place winning traditions in the Winston Solar Challenge and Build Your Dream Vehicle competitions, he developed the Los Altos Academy of Engineering into a unique, educational, and career preparatory program to promote alternative energy.

Franz also co-founded Innovative Schools Advancing Air Quality (ISAAQ). He was the past chairman of ISAAQ and lead a group of teachers to raise awareness about alternative fuel vehicles. He believed in reaching young students not just from Los Altos High School, but from other schools as well. Franz successfully developed ISAAQ into a regional organization consisting of teachers from all over Southern California.

Prior to teaching Computer Science and Robotics/Engineering, Franz served as chairman of the school’s AB551 Staff Development Project, a program focusing on higher order thinking skills and the utilization of technology, for three years. From 1979 to 1982, he taught Special Education as a Resource Specialist with primary involvement in math. In 1981, Franz was appointed chairman of the Special Education Department. He then served as District Mentor for Technology from 1983 to 1990.

Robert Franz earned a Bachelor of Associate Degree in Industrial Education from the California State University, Long Beach in 1977. He went on to pursue his studies and earned a Master of Associate Degree in Education from the California Polytechnic University, Pomona in 1987.

In 2009, Franz announced his plans to fully retire in Texas. To dedicate the influence that he has had on numerous students throughout the years, the alumni of LAAE had thrown a surprise retirement party for him on June 13. Photos taken during the event can be viewed here.
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