January 8, 2016
Danielle McNamara
(510) 987-0230

Press Release


More than 200 MESA teachers and 1,000 students across the state will boost their coding know-how through a $25,000 NVIDIA grant.


The Santa Clara-based technology company will fund ongoing teacher professional development in coding as well as hardware purchasing for students. This grant supports MESA’s digital literacy and computer science model strand that prepares middle and high school students for the rigorous degree programs in STEM majors.


MESA’s partnership with Spark Fun provides the teacher training in mechatronics using Arduino hardware kits. Teachers then instruct students during the academic year on the kits.


MESA’s digital literacy efforts introduce and advance the knowledge and proficiency of underserved and educationally disadvantage students and their teacher’s skills in computer programming, engineering (electrical and mechanical), and project development using the Arduino platform through hands on project competition.


Students will use these skills in a hands-on competition to build a functioning prosthetic arm within an $80 budget. This project tasks students to use what they learn in the classroom in real-world, problem-solving situations.


NVIDIA Corporation is an American worldwide technology company based in Santa Clara, California. NVIDIA manufactures graphics processing units, as well as system on a chip units for the mobile computing market.


Arduino The open-source Arduino Software (IDE) makes it easy to write code and upload it to the board. It runs on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. The environment is written in Java and based on Processing and other open-source software.  This software can be used with any Arduino board.


SparkFun Electronics is an electronics retailer in Niwot, Colorado, United States. It manufactures and sells microcontroller development boards and breakout boards. All products designed and produced by SparkFun are released as open-source hardware.


MESA is one of the largest programs in the state to support educationally disadvantaged students so they can graduate from college with science, technology, engineering, and math (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. Follow MESA on Twitter @MESASTEM.


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