Oct 19, 2015 –
NM MESA received $2,500 from Northrop Grumman to engage 1,600 diverse students in hands-on, inquire-based academic activities that will culminate in an annual, statewide STEM competition – MESA Day 2016.
Students from 104 middle and high schools throughout New Mexico work for more than 3 months to prepare their projects for MESA Day. This competition is the most effective way to recruit and motivate students, especially those who are currently under-represented in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) careers.
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 communication, collaboration and critical thinking skills. Completing these high-level, academic projects prepares students for the rigors of pursuing STEM majors in college and for the STEM workforce.
The funds will expand the proven NM MESA educational model for exposing students to STEM, which involves raising awareness, increasing knowledge/skills, and promoting action, and provide preparation and travel support for students representing their schools to determine the state champions. The funding will also assist with coordination and staff travel.
MESA Day 2016 engages students in using STEM skills to solve real-world challenges that New Mexico faces. The three contests are; Prosthetic Arm with microprocessor programming; Career Investigation to understand various STEM careers; Social impacts of various material science products. The outcomes include increase in knowledge and improve performance.