June 24, 2013
Danielle McNamara
 (510) 987-0230


Press Release


Two Los Angeles MESA teams walked away big winners during a national engineering competition last weekend.


The team from Edwin Markham Middle School was named middle school champions of the MESA National Engineering Design Competition. Los Angeles High School took second overall in the high school division.


The wins came after months of designing, creating and competing to build the best prosthetic arm device.


Each team beat hundreds of other middle and high school teams through preliminary, regional and statewide contests. They returned from the national contest in Portland, Oregon, on Sunday, having defeated teams from eight other participating states. Teams had to develop a prosthetic device to complete pre-defined tasks as well as give an oral presentation and submit a paper.


LA High students are served by the MESA center at the University of California Los Angeles Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science. Markham students are served by the MESA center at the University of California Irvine Henry Samueli School of Engineering.


The Markham students are: Ashley Baker, Julio Romero, Jacqueline Sanchez and Danae Tousant. The LA High students are: Jun Jang, Charis Laylo, Mi Hya Myung and Jasmin Salazar.


Markham and LA High are both Title I schools. Eighty percent of Markham students receive free or reduced meals; 72 percent of LA High students receive free or reduced meals.


The contest’s focus on bioengineering reflects MESA’s goal to involve students with the hottest science, engineering and technology areas. The project teaches students to understand design principles, implement problem-solving techniques and think like mechanical engineers.


The project is part of MESA Days, an annual 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.


California MESA is an academic preparation program that serves more than 28,000 California pre-college, community college and university students who are educationally disadvantaged. California MESA is the model for similar MESA programs established in nine other states.


For more information about the Markham students, contact Nicole Patterson at For more information about the LA High students, contact Enrique Ainsworth at or 310-206-1600. For more information about MESA, visit