MESA’s work pays off


Leslie Coronado

Sophomore Maha Kamran works on her bridge during MESA’s build night, where students could stay as late as 6:30 to work on their projects for that weekend’s MESA Day competition.

From building prosthetic arms to Rube Goldberg type machines, students in the MESA program work on projects for months in order to participate in the annual MESA Day competition, which was held last month at the University of the Pacific.

Many teams were able to advance to regionals, due to the school’s success at the MESA Day competition.
Ariana Raygoza, a freshman, and her partner, Gabe Suchil, a sophomore, worked for two months on a prosthetic arm that could stack 42 cups in a minute. They searched the internet to get an idea of how other prosthetic arms worked before coming up with their own design, adding more unique aspects, like a glass jar, to make it more original.

However, they ran into problems with the hand of their arm.

“We had to find a way to make sure the hand was big enough to get the cup and have it grasp it perfectly,” Raygoza said. Despite the difficulties, their design ended up winning first place for competition and second place for creativity.

Nate Bones, a senior, worked on the MESA Machine, which had a chain reaction of different and dependent actions leading to the launching of a hacky sack and making it as close to a minute long as possible. Bones participated in a similar event last year, in which he got first place. Using that experience the team was able to win first place.

Regionals will take place April 28 at CSU East Bay. Raygoza and Suchil won’t be able to move on to the next level, since East Bay will not be hosting the prosthetic arm competition, Bones and his team will.