MESA Day is a festival of learning, discovery, competitions, activities, and fun events that encourage camaraderie and spark interest in careers related to the fields of Math, Science, and Engineering. The event for participating schools is an opportunity for students to compete for awards at local and regional levels. Rules and curricula for these events are grade-specific and reinforce the California State Board of Education Math and Science standards.
Preliminary MESA Day is a day where middle and high school students compete on hands-on MESA day projects while competing to advance to the Regional, State, and National Level. The day begins with math examinations, which all MESA participants are required to take. The rest of the day, students participate in the MESA projects such as EggExpress, Mouse trap cars, Windmill Energy Challenge. At the end of the competition, students are awarded with medals and/or ribbons for innovative design, accuracy, efficiency, report writing skills and more. The top 3 winners of every project advance to the Regional MESA Day, which is a competition that involves all of the MESA Centers within each corresponding region, (in our case, Southern California).
The Regional MESA Day is much like the Preliminary MESA Day where the competitions for both middle and high schools are held separately. The activities for the regional MESA days are also similar, except that this MESA Day is only for the top 3 winners of each project from the Preliminary MESA Day. While the Preliminary MESA Day is hosted by each center in order to determine the winners, there is only 1 Regional MESA Day for each region. Since CSULB belongs to the Southern California region, our Regional MESA day includes winners from the MESA centers at CSULA, UCLA, as well as from USC. With the exception of the Wind Energy project, this is the final competition for all of the projects. The winners from the Wind Energy project, however, are then able to advance to compete on a state level in the Statewide Engineering Design Competition.
The Wind Energy Challenge event involves the transfer of energy from the wind source to the defined tasks. The maximum amount of energy available to complete the tasks will be limited to that provided by the defined commercial fan and the task time constraints.
The MESA National Engineering Design Competition is for high school and middle school teams who beat hundreds of other teams in California for the honor of going to nationals, held at Microsoft headquarters in Washington State. In June 2011 the National Champions were from Hudson Magnet school served by the MESA center housed at the CSU Long Beach College of Engineering.