July 10, 2010
Danielle McNamara
 (510) 987-0230

California MESA Students Sweep National Engineering Championships


Both the middle and high school California MESA teams were named national champs in an engineering competition that culminated nearly a year of designing, creating, testing and contending.


The groups beat out 14,000 students in California at preliminary and regional competitions, as well as teams from other states to triumph at the Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) National Engineering Design Competition championship at the University of Colorado June 28.


The student teams came out on top by designing the best wind energy device. This is the first year that the design competition focuses on wind energy, signifying MESA’s goal to stay current with science, engineering and technology trends. The project teaches students to understand design principles such as torque, generating and storing wind energy as well as how to think like environmental scientists.


Garden Grove High School team members Steven Chau, Scott Nguyen and Kalin Zaluzec were led by advisor Sunny Costello. The students are served by the MESA center housed at the University of California Irvine, School of Engineering.


Hudson Middle school team members Kim Ventura, Reggie Lata, Rae Jillian Rivera and Breanna Nery were led by advisor James Mill. The students are served by the MESA center housed at the California State Long Beach College of Engineering.


In addition to the performance of the windmills, students were also scored on an oral presentation, a technical paper and an academic display portion.


The wind energy design competition is part of MESA Days, a yearly showcase of students’ math and science know-how. Through MESA and MESA Day competitions, students can explore future careers in science, engineering and other technical fields.


MESA USA, which is based on the California MESA model, is a partnership of eight statewide programs: Arizona, California, Colorado, Maryland, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Washington.


MESA is an academic preparation program that serves more than 20,000 California pre-college, community college and university students who are educationally disadvantaged. Seventy percent of schools served by MESA are among the lowest-performing in the state. Almost two-thirds of MESA high school graduates go on to college as math, engineering or science majors. In 2001, 14,000 California jobs requiring science or engineering degrees went unfilled, making award-winning programs such as MESA an imperative. MESA is administered by the University of California.


For more information about the Garden Grove students, contact Leyla Riley at or 949-824-1578. For more information about the Hudson students, contact SabaYohannes-Reda at or 562-985-1463.


For more information about MESA please visit