June 16, 2016
Danielle McNamara


California state champs vie for national championship in Utah


California’s best and brightest future engineers will compete for top bragging rights and the title of national champs for creating the best code-powered prosthetic arm. 


Los Banos Junior High School and Costa Mesa High School were named state champions this month. They have already beaten thousands of other MESA students out during preliminary and regional competitions. 


Student teams have to perform several tasks with the arm, give an oral presentation and submit a complete R&D report. The arm is powered by a programmed coding board. 


Los Banos Junior High School Team: Erick Lara, Carol Garcia (7th), Daniel Baerwaldt, Ernesto Castro (8th)


This competition bridges classroom learning with real world application and encourages students to think beyond what they learn in physics, calculus or geometry. These experiences are particularly poignant for MESA students they all attend low-performing schools, come from low socio-economic background and are typically the first in their families to attend college.


Los Banos Junior High is 80 percent Latino, 20 percent are English language learners and 80 percent of students receive free and reduced meals. Costa Mesa High School is 65 percent Latino and 72 percent of students receive free and reduced meals.


The championship will be held June 22-25 in Ogden, Utah. 


Costa Mesa High School Team: Nancy Le, Sarah Catania (11th), Sylvia Catania, Keiser Ruiz (12th)