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Students win big at MESA competition

  • April 22, 2011

By Nicole Steward, MSW

Walters Junior High School Math & Science club students scored a major win on April 2, at the Cal State East Bay Mathematics, Engineering, Science, Achievement (MESA) Schools Program. In their first-ever MESA School event, Walters' students swept the math competition and won the overall Spirit Award for team participation, placement and positive attitudes.

CSUEB MESA hosted its annual MESA Day Preliminary Competitions at the Hayward campus. Students from nearby school districts participated in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) competitions designed to help them apply their academic skills to hands-on and real world experiences.

This program is designed to prepare and motivate educationally disadvantaged students to successfully pursue college-preparatory coursework and promote careers in math and science, while developing their pre-professional and leadership skills.

More than 600 educationally disadvantaged 6th through 12th grade students participated in competitions such as designing and building bridges, airplane gliders and mousetrap cars, biological models and egg drops, as well as participating in the Windmill National Design Competition.

Walter's first year as a MESA School was made possible by the generous support of Lam Research. Students were coached and supported by science teacher Lewis Kilcrease, who supervised about 50 students after school, twice a week. Thirty-six of those students participated in the MESA event, which Mr. Kilcrease called, "A wonderful experience."

"I provided the resources and technical skills, the students provided the hunger and the creativity," said Mr. Kilcrease. "The students had to find the correct tools to solve the problem, work individually on their project, and work as a team for the competition. They did an amazing job."

Parents of the students are very proud of their accomplishments, too. "The enthusiasm these kids have is amazing," said Jan Wren, parent of Walter's student and MESA participant Hanna Sterritt. "Mr. K is the best teacher ever. He's willing to work with any student and it really boosts the morale of the whole school to see that these kids have achieved so much."

First, second and third place winners, as well as math delegates, will advance to the MESA Day Regional competition on April 30, at Sonoma State University. Walters is sending 11 students to the Regional Competition later this month. The following Walters Junior High students will compete at the April 30th event:

Allyn Eaker, J.H. Solo Math, Pre-Algebra
Andrew Steward, J.H. Solo Math, Algebra 1
Daniel Chen, Team Math Quest, Category 2
Eric Chaing, Wright Stuff Glider, 7th-8th
Henry Gu, Windmill Energy, 6th-8th
Joel Lee, Team Math Quest, Category 2
Kevin Petersen, Wright Stuff Glider, 7th-8th
Rai Goyal, Team Math Quest, Category 2
Riley York, J.H. Solo Math, Geometry
Shabd Singh, Windmill Energy, 6th-8th
Shawn Kho, J.H. Solo Math, Pre-Algebra

Walters students who participated in the MESA competition included: Sabrina Adamson, Marlene Ade, Rimsha Ahmed, Richard Branda, Shaneeka Bell, Gabe Buffey, Eric Chaing, Daniel Chen, Rialyn Cortez, Allyn Eaker, Nicole Ferreira, Eduardo Garcia, Rai Goyal, Zackary Griffin, Henry Gu, Anant Gunjeet, Khizer Husain, Jessica Jolly, Shawn Kho, Joel Lee, Jennifer Li, Dinika Marwha, Sharon Maung, Vanessa Morales, Eric Ong, Nick Perez, Kevin Petersen, Bryce Rohner-Talton, Shezhzil Shah, Simmone Shah, Shabd Singh, Oviya Sivasangary, Hannah Sterritt, Andrew Steward, Mather Uyede, Riley York.

For more information about the MESA program, visit

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