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What's Happening in MESA Schools


Vision Statement

MESA provides students with the essential skills and resources to achieve success in school, career, life and STEM-related disciplines. MESA welcomes all students and actively recruits ethnic minorities and females as they are often underrepresented in STEM fields such as computer science and engineering.  MESA mobilizes and aligns the resources of diverse educational institutions, industry and other partners to create and implement an integrated program that maximizes impact and outcomes. 

Activities in MESA

Activities in MESA meetings are as varied as the teachers who serve as the advisors.

In Debra Titmus' MESA Club at Clearfield High School, students enjoy a hands-on approach to the study of chemistry and biology.

Shown here is a student viewing biological samples through a microscope connected to an iPad.  This allows for the images to be saved, edited, and shared. 

For an overview of the MESA program, check out this slide show of the 2018-2019 school year.

Microscope Work


  • MESA schools hold two or more MESA "meetings" each month with most of the meetings occurring after school. 
  • Some advisors like a thematic approach such as clean energy or aeronautics; others may break up the year into technologies such as robotics, Arduinos, and biomedical. 
  • Some MESA clubs partner with other clubs or organizations in the school such as TSA (Technology Student Association.)
  • MESA traditions include KRYPTO, building roller coasters and towers out of a wide variety of materials, and even a Barbie Bungee Cord Contest!  
  • MESA clubs often participate in service projects at their schools.  
  • MESA  students participate in a wide range of competitions such as the Science Olympiad, Sea Perch, Rube Goldberg, VEX or Mindstorm Robotics, and Physics Day.  
  • The variety of activities helps to show students the variety of careers available to them if they continue on a pathway through math, engineering, and science.  
  • Parents and family members are always welcome!

What's Happening in MESA Schools

Centerville Junior High School

Kick Off to a Great Year

Centerville Tower






MESA Schools throughout Davis have kicked off their year with a variety of activities designed to increase student interest, build teamwork, and challenge students to think critically.

Students at Centerville Jr High started the year with a simple problem solving activity -- building towers out of nothing but index cards and tape strong enough to hold the frog.  This is the first year Centerville has had a MESA program.  Teacher Delia Bayna had taught MESA at the elementary school and when she moved to the junior high, she brought her love for science and hands-on learning with her.

Another popular activity at the beginning of the year is building rockets which can be made from a variety of materials including straws, paper, and PVC pipe.  Students evaluate variables such as rocket length and width, shape and placement of fins, and shape and weight of nose cones.  Some schools will eventually extend these activities into preparation for competition.

Tower Building

Tower 2
Tower 1

Tower designs range a great deal.  Students learn which basic shapes work best for support and balance, and  how well the shapes interconnect.

Tower 3


Catapult Design
Catapult 2
Catapult 3

Guest Speakers, Skype-a-Thon, and VEX Robotics Round Out the Year

Guest Speaker

Joshua Jensen, Computer Science instructor at Weber State University, taught students about creating apps.

Skyping with scientists

Students participated in Skype with scientist Katie Florko from the University of British Columbia.

Robotics Team Practice

Students practice for upcoming VEX robotics competition.

Northridge High School

At Northridge, engineering teacher Kael Harris has combined MESA with the TSA (Technology Student Association.)  As engineering and technology are a primary focus for both clubs, it's a perfect combination.  Student leadership skills are also emphasized.  Mr. Harris finds fun innovative ideas to keep students active in the program.

Pringles Challenge

Students build sculptures out of pringles potato chips in a team building exercise.

More pringles

Keeping girls engaged in science, math, and engineering is an important goal for the MESA program.  Statistics show that girls lose interest as they advance through secondary school and into college. 

Having fun with materials

Taking "hands-on" learning to a new level.  

Air powered rockets

Students design air powered rockets out of simple materials.

More rockets

More fun with air powered rockets.

3D Prnted Ornaments

Students use 3D printers to produce Christmas tree ornaments.

Costume party

 Costume contest at the school's Halloween Trunk or Treat.

Marshmallow shooters

Students create Marshmallow shooters with PVC pipe.

Clearfield High School

High school MESA students often participate in school wide events such as Homecoming Week and holiday events. Pictured below are MESA students applying a science theme to chalk drawings.  Studying the science behind Ice cream, using dry ice to create cool Halloween tricks, and using chemistry to create ornaments for a Christmas tree are some of the fun and creative activities students at Clearfield High School enjoy. 

Chalk Drawing of Elements

Students use chemical elements in chalk drawing for homecoming events.

Chalk drawing team

 The MESA chalk drawing artists.

Chalk Drawing for Club Competition

The MESA Logo in chalk.

Pumpkin Chemistry

 Preparing for Trunk or Treat activities.

Trunk or Treat

Tricks with dry ice or treats?

Microscope Activity

Students study biological slides with a scope aided by an I-pad.

Spagetti Towers

Students discuss plans for spaghetti tower challenge.

Spagetti Towers 2


Spagetti Towers3

Students ponder how to add a second floor to their tower.

Disection Lab

Students enjoy a dissection lab.

Disection Lab 2
MESA Science Club partnership

A student prepares for a metal etching where copper is reduced onto steel.

West Point Junior High School

In 2018-19, advisers Selina Hoffman and Dillon Bates carried on the MESA program with a mix of traditional and new activities.

Bottle Rocket Launch 1

Students launch bottle rockets.

Bottle Rocket Launch 2

Bottle Rocket Launch 3

Fun Group!

In MESA, students build friendships with others who have similar interests.  

More Group Fun

Students practice with catapults designed with help from engineers at the University of Utah.

North Layton Jr High School

MESA strives to support young women who aspire to become engineers or computer scientists.  At North Layton Jr., advisers Rose Mitchell and Megan Mott are great role models for girls who are interested in STEM subjects such as science. 

Extracting DNA from Strawberries

Having fun with science
More fun with science
Bright Red chemical

Preparing for SeaPerch

Building the SeaPerch
Making Progress
SeaPerch Preparation

North Layton Jr. High Takes 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in the Stock Division at SeaPerch!

Student Winners
Student Winners
Winners pick up certificates

Syracuse Junior High School

At Syracuse Junior High, adviser Amy Smith involved students in the Rube Goldberg Engineering Competition and the Mouse Trap Car Race on Physics Day.  Although 2018 was her first year as a MESA adviser, Ms. Smith has extensive background in STEM education. 

Syracuse Jr MESA Club
Advisor and students wearing fun hats
Students Playing Game

Sunset Elementary

At Sunset Elementary, advisor Trisha Glenn has MESA students organize a community event each year.  For 2018, students hosted a school wide STEM Fair.  Students were responsible for creating their own STEM activities and then assisted younger students who came through the fair.  Below are a few of the activities that the students created for their school's big STEM night.

STEM Fair Activities

LEGO Gravity Rollers

Students designed these gravity rollers to display the properties of gravity and to challenge participants to use the gravity to complete tricks.


Students built a model town out of LEGOs including a damn to keep the residents safe from floods. 


Students will use this design to challenge participant's maze running abilities. 

Doxey Elementary

Doxey Elementary's MESA program benefits from having co-advisers Bethany Carlton and Xela Arnold who implement a mix of traditional and new activities.  Students began the year with a relay race composed of a variety of math and science obstacles. Pictured below are two attempts to build towers that will support an egg.  Following a session on code.org, students created mazes using plastic cups and then practiced writing clear instructions to direct teammates. 

Tower Design
Egg Tower Test
Coding maze

Vae View Elementary

Like many MESA advisers, Vae View's Mary Broadbent has an elementary STEM endorsement.  Students benefit from Mary's expertise, participating in a wide range of activities.

Students build towers out of balloons...

Students prepare balloons
More Balloons
The tower goes up

...and paper.

Paper towers 1
Paper towers 2
Paper Towers 4

Students prepare for a Mindstorm Robotics Competition.

Mindstorm Robotics
Mindstorm Robotics 2

South Clearfield Elementary

At South Clearfield, advisor Cathleen Gilbertson uses an inquiry approach to challenge students.  In one of the activities so far this year,  students created "density jars" with various liquids and determined which liquid or object was more dense.

PH Investigations

PH Investigations
PH Testing

Crestview Elementary

Crestview's MESA program started in 2014 and has been going strong since.  Advisors Kathy Johnson and Emily Tanner have a knack for keeping things fun and lively as they teach students basic engineering concepts and how to use the engineering design process.

Crestview starts the year with a variety of activities.

Crestview 5

 At the opening family event, students worked on building towers and shared designs with family members.

Crestview 7

Students test straw rockets on several variables. 

Crestivew 8

Students display their "longest paper" ideas. 

More Tower Designs

Crestivew 2
Crestview 4

Holt Elementary

Holt Elementary was one of the first elementary schools in Davis District to create a MESA program.   For 2018-2019, sixth grade teachers Laura Prouty and Kimberly Barker have stepped into the advisor position with some creative ideas.  Below, students conduct a mathematical pumpkin challenge where they hypothesize about the pumpkin's dimensions and the number of seeds contained within.  

Mathematical Pumpkin Challenge