May 9, 2011

Statewide Washington MESA Day To Be Held May 14 at Microsoft

By Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity

Washington MESA Day, a day-long event featuring academic challenges for middle and high school students representing six MESA (Math Engineering Science Achievement) Centers from across the state, will be held Sat., May 14, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Microsoft Campus in Redmond, Wash.

Fostering collaboration with the state’s rich community of scientists and engineers, MESA Day students will showcase their talents in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). Sponsored by Microsoft, with additional sponsorship by Boeing and Amazon, the event will feature regional MESA team winners competing in the MESA Wind Energy Challenge. The teams will construct windmills and put them to the test. They will be judged on the windmill’s ability to generate electricity and complete specific tasks. Each team will write a technical paper and present their findings to a panel of judges. The winning middle and high school teams will represent Washington state in the national MESA competition in Seattle in June.

Washington MESA, a statewide outreach program of the University of Washington Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity, builds a pathway to college and careers in STEM fields for students who are underrepresented in STEM, including African American, Native American, Latino/a, and female students.

“MESA Day is the culmination of the rigorous academic work and problem-based learning that our students have been involved with all year,” Washington MESA Director James Dorsey said. “It demonstrates that students from diverse backgrounds, and often challenging circumstances, can succeed academically and go on to college and careers in STEM. The MESA partnership with higher education, K-12 schools, private industry, and communities, helps prepare students for the high technology jobs that will grow our economy.”

Six regional MESA teams have earned the opportunity to participate in the statewide competition, representing the following middle and high schools:

  • Seattle MESA: Aki Kurose Middle School, Ingraham High School
  • Tacoma/South Puget Sound MESA: Woodbrook Middle School, Washington High School
  • Southwest Washington MESA: Jason Lee Middle School, Mountain View High School
  • Yakima Valley/Tri-Cities MESA: Harrison Middle School, Pasco High School
  • First Nations MESA: White Swan High School
  • Spokane MESA: Shaw Middle School, Shadle Park High School

For more information about Washington MESA Day, contact Jan Culp, Washington MESA Advancement Officer at culpj@uw.edu or 206.616.8590

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