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Oracle Opens Door to Computer Science Careers

August 1, 2018 | Danielle McNamara

Oracle continues to expose students to computer science skills and careers through its longtime relationship with MESA.


This summer MESA conducted 4 JAVA programming camps at UC Santa Barbara, UC Riverside, and Imperial Valley thanks to a generous grant from Oracle. Students learned the basics of JAVA and put their newfound knowledge to use in fun ways such as creating video games, designing websites, and making music. Students also got a chance to tour UC campuses, meet MESA alumni and current college students pursuing degrees in computer science, as well explore career options by visiting local companies that rely computer science graduates, including Procore and Lockheed Martin. 


Overall, fifty-four percent of the students were female, 64 percent qualified for free/reduced lunch and 78 percent would be the first in their family to go to college. 


The coding fun will continue into the fall. Camps will be held at CSU Fresno and San Diego State as well as follow up Saturday Academies at all five sites throughout fall 2018, targeting additional middle and high school students, as well as workshops for parents and teachers.


Saturday Academies will focus on incorporating components on robotics, cybersecurity, other programming languages such as Python, in addition to exposing students to a variety of career options by connecting students with MESA alumni who have computer science careers. 


The grant builds on years of support and collaboration between MESA and the tech giant. Oracle Academy has also supported Java trainings for teachers, summer coding camps for MESA students and Alice and Greenfoot coding competitions. Oracle has funded MESA teachers attending computer science education conferences and the Oracle Education Foundation organized web-based problem-solving competitions for MESA students. 


Since 2013, Oracle has awarded MESA more than $130,000 and furthered the commitment to uplift computer science education for underserved students. 


A focus on computer science exposure in low-performing schools is a key tenant of MESA’s mission to provide high-quality science, technology, engineering and math curriculum to educationally disadvantaged students. We thank Oracle for their commitment in helping us achieve that goal.

Students Bring Home 2nd in National Competition

July 13, 2018 | Danielle McNamara

Congrats to the California MESA National Engineering Design Challenge winners! 

The California teams won second place overall in both middle and high school divisions.

Isbell Middle School seventh graders Samanta Ivanez and Brandon Arana of the UC Santa Barbara MESA center beat out dozens of other middle school teams to compete in the national championship in Philadelphia in June. 

The high school winners are Bolsa Grande High School eleventh grader David Chuong and twelfth graders Duy Pham and Danny Vo of the UC Irvine MESA center.

The teams had spent the better part of the school year designing, developing and building electronic devices that solve real-world problems. These hands-on competitions help MESA students connect the math and science principals they learn in the classroom to real-world application.

May 11, 2018 | Danielle McNamara

Computer Science Education Week

December 6, 2017 | Danielle McNamara

As Computer Science Education Week winds down and more than 480 million people have participated in the Hour of Code, we still know this topic is much too important to embrace for just seven days. We know that coding and other computer science literacy, particularly for historically underserved students can make a huge difference in job preparedness and opportunity.


Here are some ways you can contribute to the growth of the computer science for all movement.


Get familiar with the challenge

Computer science and other STEM education are paramount to keeping our workforce productive, yet there is a shortage of qualified talent:


  • 69,025 is the number of unfilled computing jobs in California.
  • 71% of new STEM jobs are in computing, yet only…
  • 8% of STEM graduates obtain degrees in computer science. Meanwhile…
  • 64% of MESA high school grads enter as STEM majors and…
  • 97% of MESA community college students transfer as STEM majors


Support computer science education policy

Governor Brown signed AB 2329 that plans for expansion of CS education for all public school students beginning as early as kindergarten. California Department of Education is currently developing its K-12 2018 Computer Science Standards.


Get your code on

There are increasing resources for learning to code at all age levels and in many languages. For example, a partnership with Oracle Academy provides professional development training to MESA educators who teach coding in middle and high school.


Support STEM programs like MESA

Computer science literacy is a key tenant of MESA’s approach to creating the future technical workforce California and the nation need. Each year, MESA touches the lives of more than 25,000 students. Our students use coding and computer science to relate real world problems with what they learn in the classroom. Computer science curriculum i a key tenant to MESA’s success.


Most of those students are or will be the first in their families to attend college, and will go on to be the computer scientists, astronauts and engineers of the future. Find out how you can change the future of STEM today and contribute to computer science education for all movement.