SPOKANE, Wash. — During the weeks of March 15 and 22, Washington State University Spokane’s Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) will hold its annual science competitions for middle school and high school students.

On Friday, March 19, at the East Central Community Center, 130 eighth-grade students from Spokane Public Schools will gather to test their science skills through engineering events and logic games.

Watch out for flying marshmallows as teams design, build and test catapults in an on-site competition. In a timed event, mousetrap powered vehicles will race for the finish line in two speed finals. Award winners of MESA’s Spokane MPV competition will have the opportunity to participate in the state competition to qualify for MESA’s national competition in June, held in Albuquerque, N.M.

On Tuesday, March 23, and Thursday, March 25, some 200 ninth- and 10th-grade students will converge upon the Phase I Classroom Building on the Riverpoint campus for the MESA science competition. During the two-day event, more than 20 teams will deliver presentations on a variety of topics centered on scientific inquiry, understanding scientific systems and solving science or engineering problems. 

Students have prepared throughout February and March with volunteer representatives who serve as mentors for research, planning and development of team projects. Avista and Agilent employees will serve as judges for the presentations.

The goal of MESA is to provide globally competitive and individually competent students in mathematics, engineering and science with full participation of underrepresented students, including African-Americans, Hispanics, American Indians and women.

This competition is a celebration of efforts and an excellent opportunity to see bright young minds in action, organizers said.

See the following for schedule of events.

Friday, March 19:

MESA Middle School Competition at the East Central Community Center Gymnasium, 500 South Stone St., from 8:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Logic events and catapult designs will be from 9:20 a.m. to noon. MPV speed finals, the catapult and engineering competitions are from 1-2:30 p.m.  The awards ceremony will be from 2:50-3:40 p.m.


Tuesday, March 23, and Thursday, March 25:

On Tuesday, March 23, the MESA High School Competition for ninth-grade students will be in the Phase I Classroom Building Auditorium and first floor classrooms, 668 N. Riverpoint Blvd., from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Students choose a scientific principle, write a paper of explanation, giving applications for the principle, then give a verbal presentation complete with visuals to local professionals. Preliminary presentations will be from 8:30-10:30 a.m. Finalists give their presentations from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the auditorium. Recognition and awards are scheduled from 1:30-2 p.m.

Thursday’s competition is for 10th-grade students and follows the same format and schedule as Tuesday.

Editor’s note:
Ask for
Kirk Reinkens
to arrange interviews with student participants at the event. Student presentations include visuals and audience interaction.