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Spring Newsletter

March 2019
MESA Day 2019 has just passed and next up we have MESA Day Finals at Google! To the students who are moving on to MESA Day Finals, learn from what went wrong during MESA Day and improve upon your amazing projects! For those who are not moving on, make sure to also learn from your mistakes and improve on them. If your glider did not fly far enough, look into other models, if you MESA Machine did not launch, learn about different mechanics that you could use. 

Remember to never let failure stop you from moving forward, learn from it and become better! 

Looking Back

Hi MESA Family!

This past month was a crazy one as preparations for MESA Day were underway. MESA students were making final touches on their projects and getting them ready to compete! The excitement of the day is a rewarding experience as these students have been hard at work all year long! We changed this year's MESA Day format to mirror exactly what the students will experience at MESA Day Finals 2019 at Google, Sunnyvale Campus! The First Place winners from our Saturday, March 2nd event will advance to our MESA Day Finals 2019! We are so proud of all the hard work and creativity from our MESA students each year. The MESA Staff congratulates all students who participated at our MESA Day!

MESA Spotlight

Hilaria Bauer

ARUESD Superintendent
MESA is one of the best initiatives we have been able to bring to ARUESD. MESA was the precursor to STEAM, even before STEM or STEAM were household acronyms. If I remember correctly, MESA came to ARUESD while I was principal at Fischer from 2001-2006, most likely 2003 more or less. The other middle schools that implemented MESA from the beginning were Ocala and George.  

MESA allowed our district to introduce the concept of STEM for students who traditionally were not considered on a STEM career path. MESA provided significant training and awareness through the teachers who participated in the after-school programming. As a result of this effort, teachers began to introduce MESA-like projects into their math/science core classes. At Fischer Middle School, two of the teachers advocated to integrate MESA throughout their curriculum every day of the week.

Gradually, as more teachers and administrators became familiar with MESA's focus, our district was able to have the teacher knowledge and commitment to integrate STEM and Project-Based instruction into the curriculum. This culminated in 2014 when I became superintendent, and the staff at Ocala Middle School decided to reorganize Ocala Middle School into Ocala STEAM Academy. They are now a model STEAM school within our county. They have also strong participation during MESA Day and MESA competition. In the same way, the MESA lab at George Middle School has been an invaluable resource for a number of teachers and students in our district.

As you can see, MESA has been critical in the evolution of Alum Rock's transformation into a great district. Despite our challenges in some areas, we have thousands of minority students who have had access to a rigorous and innovative curriculum thanks to MESA.

Every student must have an opportunity to participate in MESA!


The overall mission of the United Council of MESA Chapters (UCMC) is to develop academic and leadership skills, raise educational exceptions, and instill confidence in educationally disadvantaged students to pursue successfully college-preparatory course work, promote careers in math and science, and develop their pre-professional and leadership skills.


We want to congratulate our UCMC Officers who placed at MESA Day and are moving onto MESA Day Finals at Google, Sunnyvale. They have to both work on their projects and also do their leadership tasks.


Congratulations UCMC Officers!

Wright Stuff Glider

Think Tank

1st Place - Joseph George
Jose Cervantes
Juan Flores
1st Place - Mt. Pleasant
Brandon Huynh
Phuong Tran

Industry Corner

Brian Andrade

Aerospace Engineering Professor
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m a San José native, went to Independence High School and participated in the STEM (now STEAM) Academy. After high school I went directly to San José State University in the Aerospace Engineering Department for my undergraduate and graduate degrees. While at San José State University I participated for several years with the Formula SAE Electric team that I helped start in the mechanical engineering department. After completing my undergraduate degree I proceeded directly into my graduate degree with a specialization in aircraft design. I came back to San José State University after the graduate degree to support the Aerospace Engineering Department by teaching the aerodynamics course, a subject which is a particular strength of mine. Outside of teaching the course and working with student teams on campus I enjoy filling most of my time with reading and a copious supply of video games as well as working on some small projects that are either just fun to tinker with or help improve quality of life in some way.

Your favorite memory of MESA as a kid?

It’s a bit tough to pin down a favorite but the one that keeps on coming back to me is from when I was participating the then flagship wind turbine event during MESA Day at SJSU. I forget exactly what the problem was but something had broken on the turbine and we were working to fix it before our slot came up. Of course, we certainly were not the only group to need to implement last minute repairs and there were a couple of groups that needed some tools. I don’t think anyone in my team contemplated not letting other teams use the tools and or supplies, it was just a collective effort to make the best turbines we could without regard for the fact that we were in competition against each other, and we were not the only team helping others either. That recollection sticks with me still and that kind of collaboration helps makes mole hills of mountains and is truly the spirit of engineering collaboration that I wish could be found everywhere.

You got a scholarship from NASA, what did you do to get it and how did you feel getting it?

My senior year of high school was one of the years I was highly involved in the MESA program. At the time Aisha Bowe was representing NASA as an industry sponsor and she, together with her branch at NASA Ames Research Center, made an internship available to two MESA students from the San José State University area and from participating in MESA competitions several times was one of the two selected. I worked with the NASA’s Aviation’s Systems Division on air traffic management improvements, helping the FAA support ever increasing levels of air traffic by developing simulations and procedures to manage air traffic. From working with the team at Ames, I took those connections, experiences and knowledge into my first year in the Aerospace Program at San José State University and applied that fall for the NASA Aeronautics Scholarship Program. Being selected for the program was a awesome moment and helped validate my decision to go into aerospace. This was a vote of confidence from people I had never met before saying “Yes, you can do great things.”

You volunteered in MESA Day 2019, how does it feel being on the other side and assisting the judges with the competition?

On the others side of the MESA Day competition its amazing how much goes on in the background that you don’t see as a student, there are so many people there all trying to make the day run as smoothly as possible. By and large they succeed but every little thing that makes it easier is gratefully received by everyone trying to make MESA Day happen. For this past MESA Day and helping with the gliders, it is awesome to see that engineering spirit with teams fixing or tweaking their gliders between trials, teams letting other teams use materials or tools and students trying to help others to make their gliders the best they can.

As a professor in Aerospace Engineering, what advice do you have for students going into college this year?

The aerodynamics class I teach as San José State University is one of the first upper division courses that aerospace engineering students encounter. Up to that points its almost entirely GE classes with a couple of general engineering classes thrown in. As a result, this is one of the first classes where you start to take all of that math and science and put it towards what you came to university for. Its also the first realization that, yes, those four or five semesters of math are used for something and sometimes those skills are quite rusty when students enter my class. My advice to students is just once in a while pick up a math text or some practice problems and go through them; I know that it may not make a whole lot of sense now but it will save so much effort and catchup later. I’ve been there, its been only eighteen months since I got my masters degree and all the while through last couple years of the undergrad and graduate degree it was that feeling of “I’ve done this but I don’t remember how.” I cannot describe how much easier many of those classes would have been and how much more I could have gotten out of them if I had remembered what I needed to from those math courses.

If you are able to, what are some projects you are working on now?

Right now I’m working on a couple of small projects alongside teaching the aerodynamics class. I’m working on some small RC aircraft builds, taking some of the left over materials from my senior design project and the knowledge to build some aircraft that are just a blast to fly, even if I’m personally not very good at it. I’m also working on putting together some custom panel controllers for flight sims and Kerbal Space Program, getting a little bit of exercise on the electronics side of things, historically not a strong suit of mine. I also will make random little functional contraptions with 3-D printing like a phone stand, camera cover, wire management combs, and other little odds and ends to support other projects or just to liven up the place a bit.

MESA Day 2019

Congratulations to the Winners of MESA Day! We look forward to seeing you at Google!

Middle School

High School

Think Tank 7th-8th
1st Place- Ocala
1) Andy Phung
2) Danielle Vizacarra
3) Louie Cabrera 

Stick Together 6th
1st Place- Joseph George
1) Josue Cruz
2) Joshua Garcia
3) Jesus Mendez

Stick Together 7th-8th
1st Place- Bridges Academy
1) Cuong Ha
2) Xavier Silva
3) Isaac Calderon

MESA Machine 7th-8th
1st Place- Bridges Academy
1) Marco Lopez
2) Kenny Nguyen
3) Eric Nguyen

Wright Stuff Glider 6th
1st Place- Joseph George
1) Josue Cruz
2) Joshua Garcia
3) Jesus Mendez

Wright Stuff Glider 7th-8th
1st Place- Joseph George
1) Jose Cervantes
2) Juan Flores
3) Adam Nuno

Prosthetic Arm 6th
1st Place- Fischer
1) Thienthanh Luong
2) Hilary Huerta
3) Shirley Gaxiola

Prosthetic Arm 7th-8th
1st Place- Bridges Academy
1) Dorothy Nghiem
2) Cristel Garcia
3) AJ Deleon
Think Tank 9th-10th
1st Place- Santa Teresa
1) Rochelle Antony
2) Alaina Garcia
3) Ashima Saji

 Think Tank 11th-12th
1st Place- Mt. Pleasant
1) Brandon Huynh
2) Phuong Tran

Civil Structures 9th-10th
1st Place- Mt. Pleasant
1) Lissette Rodriguez Serrano
2) Alex Lim
3) Julia Sam Juan

Civil Structures 11th-12th
1st Place- Mt. Pleasant
1) Chrystele Garcia
2) Khang Nguyen

MESA Machine 9th-10th
1st Place- Santa Teresa
1) Katrina Bui
2) Dien Nguyen
3) Jenna Young

Wright Turn Glider 9th-10th
1st Place- Santa Teresa
1) Lakshmi Eleswarapu
2) Mithya Madhu
3) Ashima Saji

Wright Turn Glider 11th-12th
1st Place- Santa Teresa
1) Zachary Davis
2) Matthew Suyetani
3) Johnson Wong

Prosthetic Arm 9th-10th
1st Place- Santa Teresa
1) Alaina Garcia
2) Shabnamdeep Kaur
3) Viet Ninh

Prosthetic Arm 11th-12th
1st Place- Silver Creek
1) Keshav Thamalla
2) Henry La
3) Amy Lam

MESA Day 2019 Pictures

Here are some captured moments from our MESA Day at San José State University!

MESA Day Finals 2019

MESA Day Finals 2019: This year our students have an amazing opportunity to be exposed to another Silicon Valley company! Google! They will compete against the Northern California MESA region! Participating MESA Centers:
  • California State University, East Bay
  • California State University, Fresno
  • Resources for Indian Student Education-RISE
  • San José State University
  • University of California, Davis 
  • Ukiah Field Station
  • University of California, Santa Cruz
  • University of the Pacific 
  • University of California, San Francisco 
This is an amazing opportunity for our students as they will be able to meet Googlers and see the company they may work for one day! Only 1st place winners will be able to attend and show of their skills to many industry leaders. 

Upcoming Events


15th - SJSU Biology Shadow Day
30th - Ultimate Disc Pilot Competition



13th - MESA Day Finals @ Google
18th - Robotics Competition

Important Dates


29th - MESA Day Finals Registration Deadline
29th - Senior Petitions Due



Thinking of going to college outside of California? Smith College in Massachusetts is offering a 3-day program for Women of Color to see their campus and explore what they have to offer you. It is an all expense paid trip there, transportation, food, and housing is all provided! This is a great way to visit other campuses and see if they are a fit for you. Don't miss out!

Make sure you share this with friends and family so they know of this amazing opportunity!


We are now in March, and that means another step closer to college! Here is a scholarship for women for $3000. The deadline is April 15th, but fill it out now before you forget.
Who doesn't love free stuff? Make sure to register at: http://bayareateenscience.org/TeenCareerConference
Interested in Volunteering? Click Here.
© 2018 | MESA SJSU | All Rights Reserved

San Jose State University
MESA Schools Program/MSP
One Washington Square
College of Science, Duncan Hall 241
San Jose, CA 95192

 Phone: 408.924.3798
Fax: 408.924.4026

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