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Middle School Scientists to Compete

Regional MESA Competition Brings 400 Middle School Scientists to UC Riverside

Winners to Receive Awards and Possibly Advance to National Competition

(April 4, 2003)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — The Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) program’s regional competition, scheduled for Saturday April 12, will bring more than 400 middle-school students from four Southern California counties to the University of California, Riverside from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The winner of the balsa wood glider competition may also advance to the national competition among the 13 states with MESA programs.

Students from Rialto, Riverside and Moreno Valley, who are enrolled in the UC Riverside MESA Program, will compete against youngsters enrolled in MESA programs at UC Irvine, Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, San Diego State University and the California State University, Fullerton. The region serves about 7,000 students. More than 90 MESA programs reach out to more than 32,000 middle and high school students throughout California.

Students in the UC Riverside event will participate in two hour-long rounds of competition at 12:15 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. Awards are scheduled to be presented at 2:50 p.m. in the University Lecture Hall. Some highlighted events— and their locations — include:

• Model Science, Terrace Rooms B and C.
• Balsa Wood Bridges, Terrace Room D.
• Balsa Wood Gliders, Bell Tower lawn.
• Packaged Egg Drop, Hinderaker Hall loading zone.

UC Riverside students will display their senior design projects such as “Sumo Robots,” “Robotic Arm,” and “Mini-Mouse Maze Buster.” These projects will be on display from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. near the Surge Building behind the Commons.

MESA, which serves educationally disadvantaged students in grades 7 through 12 who are interested in a college mathematics, science or engineering major. MESA has been named one of the most innovative public programs in the country by Innovations in American Government, a project of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and the Ford Foundation. The program is a winner of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring. MESA is the largest consortium of programs to receive National Science Foundation scholarships earmarked to support community college students who transfer to four-year institutions.

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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