ECMS Inglewood Celebrates a Great Year of MESA

Last week, students and their families wrapped up this year’s Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) program with a celebratory potluck. Over 25 students were presented with certificates and parents enjoyed a slide show and a talk from our USC liaison. A special highlight were the high school kits gifted to our departing 8th graders as a send-off.

The year-long Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) focused program at ECMS-Inglewood has grown into an incredibly solid and popular program, with our students participating in several robotics competitions hosted by our USC MESA partners. Students from all three grade levels also had the opportunity to attend STEM field trips and the Catalina STEM Exploration on Catalina Island.

ECMS-Inglewood partners with the USC Viterbi STEM Educational Outreach Programs (STEM-EOP) to provide MESA curricula, projects, and participation in competitions, and Woodcraft Rangers to administer the program.

MESA is a nationally recognized program that prepares thousands of underrepresented students to become engineers, scientists and other math-based professionals urgently needed by industry. It exposes students to STEM concepts, builds their math and science skills, and excites them about STEM careers and higher education.

MESA curriculum includes building prosthetic arms, modeling and building mousetrap cars, engineering balsa wood gliders and other engaging challenges. Hands-on, common core-aligned math and science competitions give students a chance to meet like-minded students and vie for awards. This year, ECMS-Inglewood students placed 3rd at MESA Day and went on to the Regional Competition where they competed with their counterparts from the UCLA and CSULB Centers. Students follow MESA-developed curricula that reinforce state math and science standards. The result is a unique combination of enrichment activities, hands-on projects, academic support, and opportunities to participate in multiple competitions held on the USC campus, industry involvement and a supportive community environment. This year, students programmed LEGO robots, explored sustainable solutions through the creation of a “people mover”, and worked on circuitry. They also learned about bacteria and chemical reactions through the creation of bath bombs!

A special thanks to our MESA teacher, Alexandra Gutierrez, USC MESA and Woodcraft Rangers for their support of our MESA program!

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