“It is our first year competing – and it is a big deal,” ECMS teacher Mary Mouring said. ECMS took eight students to the Math Engineering Science Achievement (MESA) competition that drew some 1,500 competitors from the Long Beach and Central/East LA areas.
One of the competitions students participated in was Stick Together, a popsicle stick bridge-building competition. Equipped with only 200 popsicle sticks and Elmer’s white glue, students had to follow rigid guidelines to construct a bridge that would be subjected to pressure/weight testing.
ECMS eighth grader Asa Cusack won a first prize ribbon for creativity and design on his Stick Together project. “This is truly impressive as it is the first time ECMS has ever participated, and we walked away with a first prize ribbon,” Mouring commented. Asa has advanced to the Regionals.
Students spent the remainder of the day participating in various activities, such as building bottle rockets, testing the strength of a variety of materials, and taking a math test. The event ended with an award ceremony where winners were recognized.
“Our plans for next year are to bring more than 20 students representing all three grade levels to participate in the various competitions titled Solo Math, Team Math, Stick Together, Egg Express, Balsa Wood Glider, Mouse Trap Car and Speak Up,” Mouring stated. It is great to see our commitment to hands-on exploration of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) be recognized and rewarded in the larger community.
Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) is nationally recognized for its innovative and effective academic development program. MESA engages thousands of educationally disadvantaged students so they excel in math and science and graduate with math-based degrees. MESA partners with all segments of California higher education as well as K-12 institutions. For more information about MESA, visit: http://mesa.ucop.edu/.