UCI to Co-Host National Engineering Contest for Disadvantaged Students

Competition to be held June 24-26

June 23, 2005 - Sixteen middle and senior high school student teams from eight states will be traveling to UC Irvine as part of a three-day National Engineering Design Competition sponsored by the MESA USA program. The event, sponsored by the California MESA programs and hosted by UC Irvine and CSU Fullerton, will be held on June 24-26. Representatives from SBC, JPL, Boeing, Raytheon and NASA will be judging the competition.
 
This year’s design project focuses on student-designed vehicles that are powered by household mousetraps, and whose performance will be measured for power, speed and accuracy. The event includes performance trials of the vehicles, oral presentations, workshops on college and campus tours of UC Irvine and CSU Fullerton. This year marks the first time that the MESA USA design competition has been held in California.
 
Students and parents will gather at the Irvine Engineering Lecture Hall from 2:45 to 5 p.m. on Friday, June 24, for the competition kick-off and workshops and tours. On Saturday they will travel to Fullerton for the hands-on portion of the engineering competition. Final awards will be announced at a Sunday morning breakfast held at the Atrium Hotel, 18700 MacArthur Boulevard, in Irvine.
 
The competition is developed to challenge students’ creativity while testing their command of physics and math principles. The curriculum behind the contest is mapped to the appropriate grade level standards. Other aspects of the competition require a display preparation, a technical paper and an oral presentation to a panel of engineers. SBC, JPL, Boeing, Raytheon and NASA are supplying this year’s judges.
 
The teams were selected after rigorous preliminary competitions in their home states, including preliminary local and regional contests involving thousands of other students, that led to the crowning of state champions at the middle and high school levels.
 
MESA stands for Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement, and provides academic support for educationally disadvantaged students so they can excel in math, engineering and science. The MESA pre-college program at UC Irvine, part of California MESA, 800 educationally disadvantaged students at 12 middle and senior high schools. California MESA supports some 13,000 pre-college students across the state.
 
In addition to the competition, the students will participate in a California-style barbeque at the beach on Friday, June 24, and be treated to a visit to Disneyland late afternoon on Saturday.
 
MESA USA is a partnership of MESA programs in Arizona, California, Colorado, Maryland, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Washington.

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