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Middle School Science Competition

MESA Program Brings 300 Middle School Students to UC Riverside

Students Learn Principals of Math, Science by Doing

(February 26, 2003)

Readying a race car built from a mouse trap for MESA Day competition.

Readying a race car built from a mouse trap for MESA Day competition.

Feb. 26, 2003— The Third Annual MESA preliminary competition is coming to the University of California, Riverside, pitting about 300 middle school students from Inland area schools in events such as growing crystals, building bridges and gliders, and packaging eggs for frightful falls. The competition is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Saturday March 1, at the University of California, Riverside.

The winners among contestants from schools in Moreno Valley, Rialto and Riverside unified school districts will advance to the April 12 middle school regional competition, also at UC Riverside. The regional competition will include schools from Orange and San Diego counties. The region serves almost 7,000 middle- and high-school students.

MESA Day at UC Riverside is part of the statewide Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement program that serves more than 32,000 educationally disadvantaged students in grades 7 through 12 who are interested in a college math or engineering major. There are more than 90 MESA sites throughout California.

The MESA office at UC Riverside is at the Marlan and Rosemary the Bourns College of Engineering, where the day’s opening ceremonies will take place at 10 a.m. Participating middle schools include Badger Springs, Landmark, Mountain View, Palm, Sunnymead, and Vista Heights in Moreno Valley; Jehue in Rialto; and Sierra in Riverside.

Some highlighted events include:
• Balsawood Bridges, 11:55 a.m. to 12:45 p.m., Terrace Rooms B and C.
• Balsawood Gliders, 11:55 a.m. to 12:45 p.m., bell tower lawn.
• Packaged Egg Drop, 12:55 to 1:45 p.m., Boyce Hall.
• Model Science, 12:55 to 1:45 p.m., Terrace Room D.

The MESA program helps students prepare for college. It allows students to have fun with and learn more about career opportunities in math, science and engineering. Students participate in field trips to places such as the Scripps Aquarium, the San Diego Zoo, the Reuben H. Fleet Space Center and the Jet Propulsion Lab. The program builds friendships among the students and strengthens the bonds between student and participating teachers, who serve as MESA advisors.

Maps and directions to the event are available at UC Riverside information kiosks at the University Avenue and the Canyon Crest Drive campus entrances or on the UC Riverside Web site.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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