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Middle, High School Science Competition

MESA Program Brings Middle & High School Students to UC Riverside

Students Learn Principles of Math, Science by Doing

(February 27, 2004)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( About 400 middle and high school students will compete at the University of California, Riverside on Saturday, March 6, in the Fourth Annual MESA Preliminary Competition. The budding scientists and engineers will test their skills at growing crystals, building balsawood bridges and gliders, and packaging eggs for frightful falls.

The competition is scheduled from 9:20 a.m. to 2:20 p.m. at UC Riverside. An awards reception follows from 2:25 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. at the University Lecture Hall.

Maps and directions to the MESA Day are available at UC Riverside information kiosks at the University Avenue and the Canyon Crest Drive campus entrances, or on the campus web site
Parking costs $5 per vehicle for the day.

High school, and middle school students will compete in two sessions. The sessions are scheduled from 9:20 a.m. to 11:20 a.m., and from noon to 2:20 p.m.
Some of the more popular events include:

  • Balsawood Bridges in Terrace Room B.

  • Balsawood Gliders at the Rivera Lawn.

  • Packaged Egg Drops at Boyce Hall.

  • Model Science in Terrace Room A.

  • Robotics at Costo Hall.

The winners among contestants from schools in Corona, Jurupa, Moreno Valley, Rialto and the Riverside unified school districts will advance to the March 27 and April 24 regional competitions. There, they will compete with students 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 pursuing math or engineering careers. UC Riverside hosts one of 24 pre-college MESA program in the state. The MESA office at UC Riverside is at the Marlan and Rosemary the Bourns College of Engineering.

Participating middle schools include Badger Springs, Landmark, Mountain View, Palm, and Sunnymead, in Moreno Valley; Auburndale in Corona; Frisbie and Jehue in Rialto. Participating high schools include Rancho Verde, Valley View, Vista Del Lago in Moreno Valley; Martin Luther King in Riverside; Rubidoux High School in Rubidoux; and Rialto High School in Rialto.

The MESA program helps students prepare for college. It allows students to have fun with and learn more about 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.

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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