ORANGE, Calif. – Chapman University will host 545 high school students and 80 teachers from Southern California as they test their math, science and engineering skills during hands-on competitions this weekend. These Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) students were among the top-ranked from preliminary contests to qualify for the regional MESA Day on April 14.

Through MESA Day competitions, students engage in hands-on activities that expand their understanding of math, science and engineering concepts.  By offering a wide variety of competitions from web design to wind energy machines to bridge building, students explore pathways that can lead to future careers in science, engineering and other technical fields.

By holding MESA Days on college campuses students are exposed early on to college settings. Students served by local MESA centers at Imperial Valley, San Diego State, UC Irvine and UC Riverside will be travelling to Chapman to compete in these regional competitions. More than 50 volunteers from MESA high schools as well as students from Chapman University and Santa Ana College students will help with activities throughout the day.

The top ranked middle and high school students competing in the wind energy challenge will advance to the statewide championship in May, where winners will go on to represent California in a national competition held in June.

MESA is an academic preparation program that serves 20,249 California pre-college, community college and university students who are educationally disadvantaged. Seventy percent of schools served byMESAare among the lowest-performing in the state. Almost two-thirds ofMESAhigh school graduates go on to college as math, engineering or science majors. In 2001, 14,000 California jobs requiring science or engineering degrees went unfilled, making award-winning programs such as MESA an imperative.

 For more information about the April 14th event, contact Chapman MESA director Vonna Hammerschmitt at 714-290-0310 or For more information about MESA visit

Consistently ranked among the top universities in the West, Chapman University provides a uniquely personalized and interdisciplinary educational experience to highly qualified students. Our programs encourage innovation, creativity and collaboration, and focus on developing global citizen-leaders who are distinctively prepared to improve their community and their world. Visit us at

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