Steve Dorau and Joel Deis of ESG spent Friday April 27th at the University of Colorado Denver Campus for the MESA High School Jamboree. MESA is a national organization promoting Mathematics, Engineering and Science Achievement for students in grades P-12 . Steve and Joel judged the bridge building competition in which a couple dozen wooden bridges were tested.
The Jamboree included a variety of events ranging from mathematics and biology focused team quizzes to wind turbine and prosthetic arm design competitions. The event was attended by over one hundred students from high schools around Colorado. The bridge competition required students to design and construct bridges that were capable of spanning 24 inches utilizing only wooden popsicle sticks and water-based glue. The bridges were scored on their efficiency which was calculated as the ratio of the bridge’s carrying capacity to the bridge’s weight. For the purpose of the competition, the load carried by the bridges was limited to 25 pounds. The winning bridge carried this load with a weight of only 4 ounces (a ratio of 100!). Students could then test their bridges to failure if they desired. The highest capacity bridge carried 84 pounds before failure. The top three teams in each event won monetary prizes.
Since 1980, Colorado MESA has continued its program for elementary, middle and high school students. The Colorado MESA program has grown to over 3,500 students in 160 schools. This program is a premier educational resource and experiential program. Colorado MESA’s mission is to increase the numbers of economically disadvantaged and at risk students who graduate from high school fully prepared for post secondary education in engineering, mathematics, science, computer science, business, and other math- and science-based fields.