Most middle and high schools are well under way in the second half of the school year and for MESA students that means one thing – MESA Day projects. Competing in these projects are a key component of the MESA model for pre-college students.
Prosthetic arms, mousetrap cars, egg drops, gliders – the list goes on. Students learn to understand design principles, implement problem-solving techniques, work in teams and tackle other STEM topics that help them to think like engineers. It’s a way to link the core math and science concepts taught in the classroom with real world applications.
Oh and it’s fun too. Winning students and team move on from local competitions to regional, statewide and sometimes national contests.
MESA directors and teachers create stringent curriculum aligned with Common Core and the California Next Generation Science Standards.
And it works. Time and again, MESA alumna, now successful STEM professionals say MESA Day projects bridged the gap between rote learning and practical learning. It’s the “ah-ha” moment for students.