June 24, 2014
Danielle McNamara
 (510) 987-0230 

Press Release


Four Stagg Senior High students put their science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills to the test and emerged national champions in the Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) National Engineering Design Competition.


After months of designing, creating and testing a prosthetic arm, they beat out hundreds of other students throughout California and top MESA teams from 9 other states. Seniors Dellanira Alcauter, Anthony Nichols and Brooklyn Omstead and junior Gabriel Zuniga competed June 19-22 at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon. They are led by MESA teachers Andrew Walter and Kathy Sady.


Stagg High is in the Stockton Unified School District. Stagg students are served by the University of the Pacific School of Engineering and Computer Science MESA center. Seventy percent of Stagg students receive free or reduced lunch.


The competition required a team of students to develop a prosthetic device to complete pre-defined tasks. The 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. Students are judged in design efficiency, dexterity, object relocation, distance accuracy, technical display, technical paper and oral presentation.


MESA is one of the largest programs in California to support educationally disadvantaged students so they can graduate from college with STEM degrees. MESA provides academic support and enrichment to more than 18,000 K-12 students and more than 7,800 community college and 4-year college students each year. Most MESA students are economically disadvantaged, the first in their families to attend college, and attend underperforming schools.


For more information about the Stagg students, contact University of the Pacific MESA Director Maria Garcia-Sheets at . For more information about MESA, visit or on Twitter @MESASTEM.