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The student news site of Hawthorne Math and Science Academy

Aviator News

The student news site of Hawthorne Math and Science Academy

Aviator News

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What is Pre-MESA Day?

Photo Courtesy to USC Viterbi

It’s that time of the year for MESA’s yearly Preliminary contest, also known as Pre-MESA Day. Before we go into what Pre-MESA day is, we first need to know what MESA even is.

MESA is a nearly 50 year statewide program created by The University of Southern California. The program allows students from grade levels of 6 to 12 to express themselves in the world of STEM. These students use science, technology, engineering and math to elevate their skills. The program serves as a way for students to find academic resources that can allow them to pursue higher education in STEM related fields. More than just academics, MESA also hosts numerous fun competitions and events, such as stem field trips, Pre-MESA Day and the actual MESA day, just to name a few. As of now, MESA has partnered with many schools across California and helps more than 1,000 students to this day.

Now that we got the context out of the way, we can now actually explain what Pre-MESA day is. Pre-MESA day is a competition where students from around California come to compete with each other for the chance to make it to the actual MESA day. Before students are eligible for entry into the competition, they first must pick a project out of the following:

  1. Coding Solutions
  2. Math Escape Challenge
  3. Cargo Glider
  4. Crime Scene Science (PILOT)
  5.  MESA Machine
  6. Moon Base 
  7. NEDC: Designing for Equity
  8. Think Tank

After choosing a project to work on, students are given time to make a team with 1 to 2 other students, plan their project, build/code their project, and record their ideas on a digital notebook, which they are to submit after completion (a week before the competition). Once students have finished their projects and submitted their online notebooks, they have officially registered for Pre-MESA day. 

On the day of the competition, the teams must go to their designated areas based on the project that they chose to do. In those areas, students are lined up based on their grade level and are required to register their fully built project to the stand. Once registration is completed, students are then allowed to choose to among an assortment of classes they would like to go into to gain information about the various clubs/resources that USC provides to students.

The moment those classes finish, students then have to go back to their competition location, which is usually the time where the competitions finally start. Students from each grade level are called at random to present their project and test it in front of judges and the other students, where results of each student’s project will vary.

By the end of the competition, the students are free to roam USC and explore the various areas that are on campus, while to judges decide the placings of each student per grade level. When the time for the award ceremony comes, they list off the winners of each competition, going from 6th grade all the way up to 12th grade and from 3rd to 1st place. Once the ceremony is over, Pre-MESA day will have officially been completed.

From our school, there were a few winners. In the 9th and 10th grade Cargo Glider category, Jayden Lisungi, Terri Arcamo, and Jay Nkurumeh’s team won 2nd place overall, and Brandon Palomo and Oswaldo Cruz won 3rd place overall. Badredine Zerrouki and Adam Osmali’s team were 3rd in the Special Mentions for Innovative Design. In the 11th and 12th grade Cargo Glider category, Nabila Hossain, Sebastian Payan, and Joshua Castillo’s team won 3rd place overall. Aryanna de la Cruz and Tiffany Gonzalez were 3rd in the Special Mentions for Innovative Design.

To gain more information about the MESA program as a whole, talk to HMSA’s MESA adviser, Mrs. Batt, in room 402 at Building B.



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About the Contributor
Jayden Lisungi
Jayden Lisungi, Writer
Jayden is currently a sophomore, but this is actually his first year doing newspaper. He is ready to give it 100% max effort. He also enjoys watching tv shows, playing video games, going to the gym, and walking.

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