MESA USA National Engineering Design Competition Showcases Youth Inventions for Global Good

MESA USA National Engineering Design Competition Showcases Youth Inventions for Global Good

Underserved Students Nationwide Demonstrate How Invention Education Can Make a Positive Social Impact
Thursday, June 20, 2013 - 12:00pm

CONTENT: Press Release

Portland, Ore., June 20, 2013 /3BL Media/ — The MESA USA National Engineering Design Competition will kick off its 13th annual event Friday, June 21, 2013. Hosted by the Oregon chapter, the competition brings together the top 72 student inventors from across the nation to showcase their prototype solutions to a real-world problem. This year, students are using inventions to help address the unavailability of low-cost prosthetic arms for young amputees in developing countries.

MESA — which stands for math, science, engineering and achievement — engages underserved middle and high school students through weekly in-school and afterschool programs where they form teams that work together to develop inventions. These projects culminate in MESA Day competitions at the state level, which qualify teams for the national competition. The program’s goal is to develop students’ skills through a type of STEM instruction known as “invention education,” which emphasizes learning by doing. Students develop innovative solutions to real-world problems ranging from clean power sources to cost-effective limb replacement.

In addition to the inventions solving a pressing problem, the process influences the students on a deeper level. The successes and knowledge that result from participation in MESA often spur students on to attend college and, ultimately, to pursue a career in STEM. As a result, students have the opportunity to improve lives with their inventions of products and processes while also fueling their personal successes and having a positive impact on the U.S. economy.

“Every year, MESA engages thousands of educationally disadvantaged students, enabling them to excel in science and math and go on to fill an urgent need in the United States for qualified technical professionals,” said David Coronado, executive director of Oregon MESA. “Our track record over the past nine years speaks for itself — Oregon MESA enjoys a 100 percent high school graduation rate for students who participate in two or more years of the program, 92 percent of whom go on to college.”

“We couldn’t achieve these numbers without regional assistance from organizations and companies such as The Lemelson Foundation and Intel,” Coronado continued. “Both have supported Oregon MESA’s efforts over the years — monetarily and with their time and talents — and have been an integral part of our success.”

MESA programs are administered by local universities nationwide and are funded by state legislatures and corporate contributions and grants.  

“We are thrilled to see organizations such as Oregon MESA providing students firsthand learning opportunities about the challenges where STEM-based invention can matter most, like the availability of low-cost prosthetics in developing countries,” said Carol Dahl, executive director, The Lemelson Foundation. “The Lemelson Foundation firmly believes that inventors and their inventions can improve lives, so it’s gratifying to see such young inventors, like those participating in MESA, taking on the challenge with ingenuity and inventiveness.”

“Intel knows that young people are the key to solving global challenges. A solid STEM foundation — coupled with skills such as critical thinking, collaboration and problem solving — are crucial for success and are made accessible through programs like MESA,” said Jill Eiland, the northwest region corporate affairs manager at Intel. “We are very pleased the national competition is in Oregon this year, right near Intel’s largest and most comprehensive site in the world in Hillsboro.”

More information about attending the MESA USA National Engineering Design Competition, where students will put their inventions on display and participate in oral presentations and practical tests, and the work MESA does is available at

About MESA
Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) is nationally recognized for its innovative and effective K–16 academic development program. Since 1970, MESA has engaged thousands of educationally disadvantaged students so they excel in math and science and graduate with math-based degrees. MESA partners with all segments of higher education as well as K-12 institutions.  For more information, visit

About The Lemelson Foundation
The Lemelson Foundation uses the power of invention to improve lives, by inspiring and enabling the next generation of inventors and invention based enterprises to promote economic growth in the U.S. and social and economic progress for the poor in developing countries. Established by prolific U.S. inventor Jerome Lemelson and his wife Dorothy in 1992, to date the Foundation has provided or committed more than $175 million in grants and PRIs in support of its mission. For more information, visit

For more information, press only:

David Coronado, Oregon MESA, (503) 725-4268,
Tak Kendrick, The Lemelson Foundation, (503) 827-8910,
Chelsea Hossaini, Intel, (503) 264-1330,