By Jorge Villalobos
The Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) had its 2nd Annual Robotic Competition at the Central Union High School this past Saturday. MESA who has been in the Imperial Valley for the past seven years strives to make science and math fun. “We have a lot of competitions thru ought the year, this is the second year we do robots,” states Jeanette Espino, MESA Program Director.
“Its been amazing, we have over 500 students registered” says Espino. Espino says that they have expanded to 16 schools throughout the Valley, which has gone up since 9 from last year. According to Espino, each school that is a part of the MESA program has an advisor who is also a teacher; they are instructed and familiarized with building the robots so that they may pass that on to their own students.
“The objective was to see which robot could basically take the other robot out of the ring, or disable it in some matter,” explained Espino. Espino then said that they had eight different matches, each match that was won awarded the team two points. The top three teams would then battle it out for first, second and third place.
This year Kennedy Middle School dominated the top spots by winning first and third place. Guadalupe Gonzales, MESA advisor, lead several teams to the competition. “We started working with the robots since September, so it takes awhile because the students go through different designs,” states Gonzales. Gonzales’ team who last year won first and second places in the Valley had also taken first and second in regionals have a reputation for being a strong contender.
“Its an excellent program, it provides them to really understand about programming,” states Gonzales who recommends MESA to any students aspiring in engineering. “It’s an excellent opportunity for them to already start looking into the future to see what they wanna get into.”
“I’m asking for everybody’s supports we’re looking at a tough economic year again, they actually tried to cancel our program last year,” stated Espino. “I know that it is very well liked by the schools so just more support from the administrators and parents.”
By Jorge Villalobos