Teams converge for WSU Spokane MESA competition

Some 200 students in grades nine and 10 will participate this week in the annual Washington State University Spokane Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement Competition.

The event is set to run from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. on March 22 and March 24 in the Phase I Classroom Building on the WSU Spokane campus, 668 N.
Riverpoint Blvd.

During the two-day event, more than 60 teams will deliver presentations on a variety of topics centered on scientific inquiry, understanding scientific systems and solving science or engineering problems.

Students prepare for two months with volunteers from Avista Corp. and Agilent Technologies. The volunteers serve as mentors for research, planning and development of team projects. Employees from WSU Spokane, Avista, Agilent Technologies and other companies will serve as judges for their papers and presentations.

The competition begins Tuesday for ninth-grade students and Thursday for tenth-grade students. The schedule for both days begins with the preliminary presentations from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m., followed by the finalists’ presentations from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and ending with the recognition and awards segment from 1:30 to 2 p.m.

School and team winners from these competitions receive awards and prizes.

Winning student teams investigating mousetrap powered cars will move on to the Washington MESA Day Competition in Seattle on May 24. The national event will be held in Irvine, Calif., in June. Last year’s winning Spokane high school team placed second in the MESA USA National Engineering Design Competition in Albuquerque, N.M.

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

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