California Teams Sweep Sixth Annual MESA USA National Engineering Design Competition

UC Irvine welcomed outstanding middle and high school student teams to compete from eight different states

June 27, 2006 - A California middle school and high school won first place at the Sixth Annual Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) USA National Engineering Design Competition, held at UC Irvine and CSU Fullerton the weekend of June 23-25, 2006.  Outstanding middle and senior high school student teams from eight different states traveled to California to compete in this three-day national competition sponsored by the MESA USA program. 


The main competition objective was to design a vehicle powered by a mousetrap that could perform three distinct tasks, including (1) the fastest time over 10 meters (speed); (2) the farthest distance up a 30 degree incline (work); and (3) the nearest stop to a five meter target (accuracy).  California successfully swept first place for both the middle school and high school levels, earning the title of MESA USA Overall Champions.
 
The California middle school team, RooseveltMiddle School from the ComptonUnifiedSchool District, was comprised of the following students: Danial Ceasar, Leonelly Diaz, Bryan Elenes, and Alejandro Lopez.  This MESA team, led by their teacher advisors, Philip Gerlach and Oscar Espinoza, is administered by the UC Irvine MESA Schools program.  The MESA director at UC Irvine is Jaime L. Del Razo.
 
The first place high school team, A.A.StaggHigh School, is located in the StocktonUnifiedSchool District and included the following students: Timothy Baldwin, Angel Lam, Alexia Oliva, and Bao-Tran Vo.  This MESA team is led by their teacher advisor Andrew Walter, and is administered by the University of the Pacific MESA Schools program.  The MESA director at University of the Pacific is Maria Garcia-Sheets.
 
The contest was developed to challenge creativity while testing command of physics and math principles. The curriculum behind the contest was mapped to appropriate grade level standards, while also requiring an academic display, a technical paper and an oral presentation.
 
MESA Mission Statement:  Since 1970, MESA’s academic enrichment program has supported educationally disadvantaged students so they can excel in math and science studies, and graduate with baccalaureate degrees in math and science based fields. To the extent possible by California law, MESA emphasizes participation by students from groups with low eligibility rates for four-year institutions.
 
MESA is a partnership of MESA programs in Arizona, California, Colorado, Maryland, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Washington.