More Than 600 Arizona Teenagers to Participate in Competition
The statewide MESA Day 2009 Design Competition will be held on the UA campus on Saturday.

By La Monica Everett-Haynes, Office of Early Academic Outreach
April 22, 2009

Arizona Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement will hold its 18th Annual MESA Day statewide competition for more than 600 middle school and high school students.

MESA Day, the capstone event of Arizona MESA, will offer eight competitions.

Students will participate in eight different competitions that will include tasks such as building a multi-task trebuchet, designing a Web site, creating a solar oven, building a wind energy generating device and attempting to safely launch and land an egg.

"The student's confidence in their abilities soars when they successfully compete in these events, and that helps them believe they can achieve all their educational and career goals" said Abra McAndrew, the assistant director for Southern Arizona MESA.

The event will be held in the Arizona Grand Ballroom at the Student Union Memorial Center, 1303 E. University Blvd., on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Each of the competitions and their specifications are designed and judged by industry and university professionals and focus on integrated learning, requiring students to articulate their research and experimentation process through public speaking and writing.

The competitions introduces students to elements of academic and professional work, including teamwork, the engineering design process, academic research, presentations, competition, and project management, McAndrew said.

The middle and high school winners of the "Multi-task Trebuchet competition will represent the state at the MESA National Engineering Design competition, which will be held in Denver, Colo. in June.

MESA is a college-preparation program that strives to increase the number of ethnic minority, low-income, and first-generation college-bound students who are eligible to enter a degree program at a university. MESA achieves this goal by promoting a strong foundation in mathematics and science as the key to college admission and success.

Founded in 1970 and launched in Arizona in 1983, MESA is one of the oldest and most successful programs to advance students toward achievement in math and science.

For more information about Arizona MESA or access to participating teachers and students, feel free to contact our staff at (520) 626-2300, or visit our Web site at


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Abra McAndrew

Office of Early Academic Outreach