November 30, 2010
Danielle McNamara
 (510) 987-0230

Press Release


Fourteen  students from five campuses were chosen to participate in a special site visit of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.


All of the students are involved in the Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) program and were chosen for their academic achievement and interest in technical fields.


The hand-picked MESA students, all engineering and math majors, were able to view the most powerful laser in the world and visited other science facilities at the national lab in Livermore in November.


The laser – part of the National Ignition Facility – aims to fuse hydrogen atoms nuclei to produce energy. That fusion is the same process that makes stars shine. The laser focuses the energy of 192 giant laser beams onto a target the size of a BB.


Students were invited on the tour which was designed to expose students to career possibilities at national labs.


Students also visited the Center for Accelerator Mass Spectrometry, which measures the isotopic composition of substances, and the National Atmospheric Release Advisory Center. Students began the day with science demonstrations by the tour guides who are former lab engineers.


Students represented MESA programs from Fresno State University, San Jose State University, Sonoma State University, UC Santa Cruz and University of the Pacific.


MESA, an academic preparation program that each year serves about 20,000 California pre-college, community college and university students who are educationally disadvantaged, is an award winning program with a model that works.


Now celebrating its 40th anniversary, MESA is one of the largest programs in the state to support educationally disadvantaged students so they can graduate from college with science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) degrees.


For more information about MESA visit