This year brought many changes to traditional events and the 2021 MESA USA National Engineering Design Competition was no exception. Held on June 21-22, 2021, winning teams from each MESA USA state came together for a virtual event to celebrate “Designing for Equity”. New Mexico MESA was represented by students from Chaparral Middle School (Josue Salais, Maggie Lonsinger, Kara Rios Sifuentes, and Cynthia Morales; Team Advisors: Rina Viramontes and Sammantha Portillo) and nex+Gen Academy (Ashton Brace, Luke Fletcher, and Luke O’Donnell; Team Advisor: Laura White).
Chaparral Middle School placed 1st in the Overall Competition, repeating as National Champions. Nex+Gen Academy placed 3rd in the Overall Competition as well. Additional placements are as follows:
Chaparral Middle School: Technical Presentation and Interview-1st Place, Academic Poster-1st Place, Design Brief-2nd Place, Prototype Pitch-1st Place
Nex+Gen Academy:Technical Presentation and Interview-3rd Place, Academic Poster-2nd Place
MESA USA is an alliance of states that provides leadership in equity and access for STEM, achieves programmatic excellence and ensures national program stability. There are currently nine MESA USA states (AZ,CA,CO,MD,NM,OR,RI,UT,WA). Every two years, the competition rotates amongst MESA USA states. New Mexico MESA is scheduled to host the 2022 and 2023 National Events in conjunction with our 40th Anniversary of the NM MESA program.
For the competition, student teams identified an individual or group who has experienced some type of inequity (i.e., a user). Using a microprocessor as the key component of the design, teams employed human-centered design practices to engineer a solution. They were required to build a working prototype and create an accompanying design brief, academic poster, prototype pitch, and participate in a technical presentation and interview.
Students and their MESA Advisors (teachers) spent their school year preparing for this event and qualified to attend by winning our NM MESA USA competition on April 20 and 22, 2021. Congratulations to both of our teams for all of their hard work and accomplishment.
In addition to the National Competition, on June 23-24, 2021, MESA USA had a National Convening on Invention Education for over 100 educators from across the country.
Additional information on the event and student projects can be found on the MESA USA NEDC website: www.nedc-mesausa.org
Chaparral Middle School: Advisors and Student Team
Nex+Gen Academy: Advisor and Student Team
Team New Mexico at the 2021 NEDC Event: