MESA students will participate in such activities as designing and building bridges, airplanes, gliders, and biological models.
Cal State East Bay MESA (Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement) Schools program will host its sixth annual “MESA Day Preliminary Competition” for educationally-disadvantaged students in grades 6 through 12 from local school districts.
The competition, scheduled for Saturday, April 5, from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., on CSUEB’s Hayward Campus, is designed to prepare and motivate educationally disadvantaged students to successfully pursue college-preparatory coursework while developing their pre-professional and leadership skills for careers in math and science.
“MESA Day is a time to see how students can have fun while still being challenged in math and science,” said Ramona Neveu, director of CSUEB’s MESA schools program. “(It’s an opportunity) to see how much hard work and dedication the students put into their projects and the excitement they have when they are competing. It is encouraging to all who participate, from volunteers to teachers and staff.”
More than 900 students will participate in matchups such as designing and building bridges, airplane gliders, mousetraps, cars, biological models and egg drops. Some will take part in the prosthetic arm national design competition. Most of the other engagements will be supervised by volunteer scientists and engineers from leading local companies.
MESA Day will commence in Pioneer Gymnasium with welcoming remarks from Michael Leung, dean of CSUEB’s College of Science, and Saeid Motavalli, chair of the university’s Department of Engineering.
“MESA DAY is an exciting opportunity for students to explore the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields in a unique and exciting environment,” said Luis Alcazar, MESA alumnus who remains involved in the program as CSUEB’s MESA assistant director. “One of the best components of MESA Day is junior high and high school students being on a university campus and interacting with professors, scientists, engineers and a community that supports the students’ STEM education and leadership growth.”
MESA Day partners and supporters include: CSUEB, its College of Science, and Department of Engineering; AT&T; Chevron; Bank of America; Intel; Irene S. Scully Family Foundation; Lam Research Foundation Fund at the East Bay Community Foundation; and CSUEB campus organizations and community partners.
MESA centers are located across California and provide support to students at the K-12, community college, and university levels. The MESA program has been replicated in over a dozen states.
"MESA has helped my students to hone their potentials in math, science and engineering,” said Fema Bernido, De Anza High School chemistry teacher and MESA advisor. “While doing their projects, they have seen the clear connection of these three fields of discipline and have realized their interrelationships. As (the students) always tell me, MESA has helped them to develop their analytical and critical thinking skills."