April 4, 2012
Danielle McNamara
 (510) 987-0230

Press Release


Through a $17,500 grant from NASA, 175 Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) students from the San Diego area will attend special summer and after school programs.


This grant continues a partnership between the NASA Aerospace, Education, Research and Operations (AERO) Institute and MESA as the space agency increases its involvement in education.


The newest grant is a part of the agency’s Summer of Innovation (SoI) project to improve science, technology, engineering and math education for middle school students, especially those who are underrepresented and underserved.


The money will help fund a one-week summer program at five MESA middle schools, additional hands-on learning during the school year at 11 MESA middle schools, and teacher training for MESA advisors.


MESA lesson plans, along with aeronautics and rocketry lessons from NASA, will be used to teach students about math and science principles through projects such as making gliders, wind turbines and bridges. These hands-on projects allow students to apply in a fun way the math and science principles they learn in class.


Students will be chosen from Mission, Vista La Mesa, O’Farrell, Millennial Tech, Montgomery, and Sweetwater Middle Schools and Keiller Leadership Academy. Sixty-six percent of students attending these schools are free and reduced school lunch recipients.


NASA is funding a similar program to benefit MESA students in the Imperial Valley area.


MESA, an academic preparation and enrichment program, supports educationally disadvantaged students so they can become interested in math, science and engineering and earn degrees in those fields. MESA serves more than 15,000 pre-college students across the state as well as almost 6,000 community college and students in four-year institutions.


For more information about MESA visit


For more information about NASA’s AERO Institute visit