UW News

June 22, 2011

Washington MESA hosts national Engineering Design Challenge

UW News

Middle and high school student delegates representing eight states will converge in the greater Seattle area to compete in the 2011 MESA (Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement) USA National Engineering Design Challenge, Friday, June 24, through Sunday, June 26.

The pinnacle of the three-day event will be the Wind Energy Challenge to be held at the Microsoft Conference Center in Redmond on Saturday, June 26.

The event is hosted by Washington MESA, a statewide STEM program that builds a pathway to college and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields for underrepresented students including African American, Native American, Latino/a, and female students.

Teams from Jason Lee Middle School and Mountain View High School in Vancouver, Wash., will be among those designing and building their own wind generators. Middle school students will be judged on mechanical power and wind-to-vehicle transfer, while high school students will be judged on those tasks as well as electrical power and wind direction response. Saturdays activities also include a networking opportunity with Microsoft mentors and an awards presentation.

In addition to building their devices, teams are required to give an oral presentation, prepare an academic display and write a technical paper. The oral presentations and academic displays will take place at the Courtyard Seattle Bellevue/Downtown Hotel on Friday, June 24.  A closing breakfast at the hotel and a student field trip to the University of Washington and a visit to downtown Seattle will close out the weekend on Sunday, June 26.

MESA students work throughout the academic year to prepare for the design challenge. The top design team from each state is determined by regional and statewide MESA Day competitions. The eight teams who have earned the opportunity to participate in the nationwide competition represent the following middle and high schools from across the country: