Hundreds of Middle and High School Students to compete in the Northern California MESA Day at CSU, Chico, April 26

Date: 04-21-2008

Joe Wills
Public Affairs
Teresita Curiel

Trebuchets, model bridges, mousetrap cars, physiological replicas and gliders are some of the design competitions to be held at the Northern California MESA Day on Saturday, April 26, at California State University, Chico. More than 500 middle and high school students, from the Oregon border to the Bay Area, will showcase their projects and engage in a variety of fun, hands-on math, science and engineering competitive events. Students have earned the opportunity to participate in this regional round of competitions through their winning placement at similar preliminary events in their communities.

Northern California MESA Day will take place from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on the west side of the CSU, Chico campus. More than 20 events will be conducted throughout the day. An official campus welcome is set for 9:00 a.m. in Shurmer Gym, and the event concludes at the same location with an awards ceremony at 4:00 p.m. University faculty, students and staff will join alumni, industry and community volunteers to serve as event judges. Overall attendance is estimated to top 700 people, including visiting school teachers, CSU, Chico students, staff, faculty and alumni helping out with the event.

MESA, which stands for Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement, partners with public schools locally and throughout California to help close the achievement gap. Services to young students and schools are coordinated through MESA centers at select universities. The statewide academic preparation and enrichment initiative assists educationally disadvantaged students in achieving academically, developing an early interest in math and science-based careers, and preparing for competitive entry into college. MESA is nationally known for its innovation in science and math education, and its model has been replicated in 14 other states.

MESA Day is the culmination of students’ year-long efforts. Working with their MESA advisors, typically math and science teachers, students follow curriculum uniquely designed to reinforce California educational standards. MESA Day projects and activities focus on a variety of math, science and technology topics; differ by grade level; include progressively challenging thematic strands; and provide for individual and team-based participation that is both educational and fun.

CSU, Chico, is host to local MESA Day preliminaries every spring, but this will be the second occasion in the past decade that the campus welcomes the larger, regional MESA Day. Organizers are excited to welcome competitors and have the opportunity to also showcase the campus to prospective students.

The Northern California MESA Region comprises MESA centers at CSU, Chico; CSU, East Bay; Sacramento State University/UC Davis; San Jose State University; University of the Pacific; as well as field stations in Mendocino, Sonoma, Modoc and Shasta counties.