Dec 14, 2015 –
NM MESA received $10,000 from Lockheed Martin on behalf of Sandia National Laboratories. The money will be used to engage High School and Middle School MESA students in hands-on, inquiry-based academic activities that will culminate in an annual, statewide Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) competition ~ MESA Day 2016. The requested funds will provide preparation and travel support for students representing their schools to determine the state champions. The event will be the finale of the students’ yearlong efforts in learning team building, critical thinking, basic computer science, engineering (prosthetic arm), health science and communication. This funding will also assist with coordination and staff travel.
Students from 106 high schools and middle schools throughout New Mexico will work months to prepare their projects for MESA Day. We have found that this competition is the most effective way to recruit and motivate students, especially those who are currently underrepresented in STEM careers, and to help them explore their interest in STEM studies and careers. Students look forward to MESA Day all year and are willing to make the effort to design and build science and engineering projects in order to earn the trip to MESA Day. At a time when most students are content to be consumers of technology, NM MESA succeeds at training the next generation of innovators to be creators of technology. By working in teams, students also strengthen their research, studying and collaboration skills. Completing these high-level, academic projects prepares students for the rigors of pursuing STEM majors in college and for the STEM workforce.
The MESA Day 2016 will engage students in using STEM skills to solve real-world challenges that New Mexico faces. The two contests are: FUNdamentals, which is broken out into three subevents; Syntax Charades, Environmental Career Exploration, Sustainability Supermarket and Prosthetic Arm 2.0, prepared engineering design. The outcomes include increase in knowledge and improve performance.