Campus: CSU Fullerton -- December 12, 2003
State Fullerton MESA Chapter Team Wins JPL Invention Challenge Competition
A team of students from Costa Mesa High School representing the Cal
State Fullerton Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA)
program flew to victory in the Jet Propulsion Laboratory 2003 Invention
Challenge competition held Dec. 5 at JPL in Pasadena.
The Costa Mesa students not only were the winners of the student division
in the Wright Turn Glider Contest, but also beat teams of JPL technicians
in the employee division.
Their mission was to design and build a glider that when launched from
the officially supplied launcher, flies through the air, makes a right-hand
turn and lands on a target 40 feet away.
Cal State Fullerton and USC were chosen by JPL as the two Southern California
regional competition sites. The Costa Mesa team qualified for the finals
at JPL by winning the competition hosted Nov. 15 by Fullerton's MESA
The Costa Mesa team was headed by teacher and MESA adviser Steve Nelson.
Team members are: Joe Powers, Ted Lee, Hoa Duong, Khoa Mai, Josh Paik,
Canh Mai, Peter Pham and Raffi Kidikian.
"I am one proud teacher," said Nelson."Our students finished
ahead of all 20 student teams and all 11 teams of professional engineers
from NASA. On Dec. 17, we will try to fly our glider on a straight flight
for 120 feet, the distance the Wright brothers flew 100 years ago. It
will be a fitting tribute by our students."
Fullerton's MESA chapter is one of the most active college and university
chapters of the statewide program designed to help educationally disadvantaged
students to excel in math, engineering and science. More than 90 MESA
centers throughout California provide services to more than 30,000 students
from elementary through university levels. A total of 85 percent of
MESA high school seniors go on to attend college.
Two years ago, the statewide MESA program received one of the $100,000
Innovations in Government Awards from the Institute for Government Innovation
at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. "MESA
was nominated for the honor because of the program's excellence in outreach
in preparation of students to pursue advanced studies and careers in
the fields of science and engineering," said Vonna Hammerschmitt,
CSUF MESA director.
The campus MESA chapter is one of several outreach programs of the university¹s
College of Engineering and Computer Science. "We are pleased to
be a longtime participant in this program to encourage students to become
engineers and scientists," said Raman Unnikrishnan, dean of ECS.
Media Contacts: Vonna Hammerschmitt, Cal State Fullerton MESA director,
(714) 278-3195 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Steve Nelson, Costa Mesa High School, at (714) 424-8700 or snelson@nmusd.K12.ca.us
Dave Reid, Public Affairs, at (714) 278-4855 or email@example.com