SANTA CRUZ — About 400 high school and middle school students swarmed at UC Santa Cruz’s engineering building Saturday for a one-day competition designed to inspire them.


The annual MESA Day competition drew local schools as well as schools from Soledad, Salinas, Pajaro Valley and Monterey school districts for a day filled with math quizzes and hands-on events. Many of the students brought projects and designs that were months in the making, said Alexandria Leckliter, director of the MESA program, which is short for mathematics, engineering, science achievement.


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