Sophomore Lynzie Vang worked with members of her group on the egg drop for MESA Day. Groups used milk cartons and pieces of sponge in the models.

Chao Xiong

Students work in- and out- of class to prepare for big competition

As students of different sizes and ages line up in two lines at 8:00 in the morning, each with their own projects in hand, anxious to compete, as they wait to get inside to be registered into the MESA competition.

Every year the MESA students attend the competition held at the University of Pacific and this year it was held last Saturday. Throughout the year MESA students have participated in many sample competitions to prepare for this big competition at UOP.

But as the deadline for the competition came around the corner, the students scrambled to finish their projects. And as a “relaxation time for them” MESA advisers Andrew Walter and Kathy Sady gave students the chance to work on their projects after school.

The advisers held a MESA night a week before the competition for the students to build and double check their projects.

Sady said, “It’s to give the kids the chance to fine tune and give them the last push.”

Many of the students are in the club and aren’t in the class. Those who are in the class have the advantage of being able to work on their project for two hours for two out of the five days of the week. The students in the club are limited to an hour or more twice a week on club days.

The MESA night is beneficial to all of the students and advisers.

“Class is the only time to do it with my partner since he’s busy with sports,” said sophomore Lynzie Vang. But by having the night to do the project, Vang and her partner now have the chance to work on it together.

“It’s a chance for the class and club to bond together,” Walter said.

Walter said that the students are “stronger and more competitive” this year.

But some of the students didn’t actually have this in mind when they started their project.

“I thought it would be easy,” said senior Sierra Brandt. “(You’re) just putting sticks together to make a bridge, but it turned out harder than I thought.” Another reason Brandt and her partner junior Jonathan Moreno chose this project was because fewer people were doing the Civil Structure Bridge which meant that the possibility of them winning the competition was higher.

Students like senior Kaylie Detmering also started her Robotic Arm project with a similar mindset but as the project progressed it started to change.

“I didn’t like it (at first),” she said. “But somehow I ended up liking it.”

Many of the MESA students enjoy building their projects and seeing the outcome of all their hard work.

“It’s fun,” said sophomore Jonathan Phan. “We get to make our own type of creation and we get to see (the mousetrap car) run by itself.”

Although others find it fun, some are just stubborn.

Junior Linda Torres has been mainly working on the Wind Energy Challenge for this year and has also worked on the same project last year and the year before. When asked why she kept on doing the same thing every year she replied, “There’s nothing else that interests me more than this one.” She wanted to do it until it was perfected, until she was satisfied.

And although it may not be perfect, Torres and her teammates are advancing to the regional competition.