Saturday, March 6, Costa Mesa Middle School crushed it in their STEM competition!
At the MESA day held by UCI, CMMS placed in almost every category. There were 4 categories this year, Scratch It Up, Think Tank, Stick Together, and National Engineering Design Challenge (NEDC).
In these categories, CMMS placed 3rd for Scratch It Up, 2nd and 3rd for the Strength to Weight Stick Together Bridge sub-category, 1st 2nd and 3rd for Think Tank, and 1st in every category of NEDC!
Each of the teams who placed 1st in the competition are now moving on to the next round, which is Regionals. They will not only represent their schools but also UCI.
The competition took place on a zoom webinar, in which UCI previewed almost every project. UCI had filmed the projects being tested and showed them before the awards ceremony. Past years students took a field trip to UCI, which was not able to happen due to Covid-19.
Scratch It Up challenged students to create a video game that brought awareness or a solution to environmental problems the world is facing, while Think Tank challenged students to create their own STEM competition that other students could potentially be used in a future MESA day. They were challenged to sell their competition relating to environmental sustainability using an innovative pitch that included a prototype, rules, and a digital presentation.
Stick Together Bridge challenged students to create a bridge using 200 popsicle sticks and white glue that will be able to hold a substantial amount of weight. There were two sub-categories for this challenge: Creativity and Engineering Design, and Strength to Weight Ratio.
NEDC is a special challenge that requires one team per school. The team has up to 4 handpicked members who work for months ahead of time to create their project. Our team blew the competition away and is advancing to Regionals.
Our schools teams were all led by our amazing STEM teacher, Mr. Nyguen.
Nyguen was confident about this year's competition, saying, “this year has been a challenge in all aspects in terms of preparing for competition. I am proud of all the students who were able to complete their projects and allow us to enter them in for MESA Day. I know many schools had a decline in their participation, but we were able to have students participate at a very high level. This year really isn't about winning, but more so of coming together at a competition to celebrate all of the adversity that we all had to overcome this year.”
When asked what category he thinks CMHS does best in, he claims, “ror the categories of competition, there were certainly less to choose from this year. Popular projects such as the prosthetic arm, Wright stuff Glider, and Math escape could not be modified for a virtual competition, so students had a less diverse list of projects to choose from. It really is difficult to say which we will do the best in, but we always look to do well in the National Engineering Design Challenge (NEDC). This is the hallmark of MESA Day and the students that represent our school for this competition have put in a tremendous amount of work for several months. No matter the outcome, our students should be proud of their accomplishments for even being able to complete these projects with the restrictions and logistics challenges that this year presented.”
Congratulations to all the students who placed and best of luck to our students who are moving on to Regionals!