Shadle Students Head to MESA Nationals | News
High school students are celebrating the last day of school and the start of summer, but the work isn't over for three freshman from Shadle Park. They are preparing to head to the MESA USA National Engineering Design Competition in Portland on June 21st.
MESA students, Kelopatra Deltchev, Hailey Guyette and Jessica Lim, started the year with a goal to win the state competition, and now they are preparing to compete at the national level.
“Sure, we're hoping to win; but even if we don't, we know we'll have a great experience,” said Deltchev. “Our goal was to win state and we've done that.”
The Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement program aims at giving women and minorities more exposure in the aforementioned fields. For the engineering design competition, students were sent kits with materials to make a prosthetic arm, they then had to experiment with and modify the design to make it more efficient.
The girls will have to demonstrate how their arm works by completing three tasks: distance accuracy relay, object relocation, and dexterity. The distance accuracy has them toss balls of different sizes from different distances, the more accurate they are, the higher the score.
For object relocation, they must use the arm to pick objects of varying sizes and weights and drop them into a container. The heavier the object and the faster they move them the more points they receive.
“The hardest one is the dexterity challenge,” said Lim. “The task is hard enough, but I can feel everyone watching me as I'm doing it.”
To show the dexterity of the arm, Lim will have to pick up a bolt and screw it into holes in a testing device. She then must thread a nut onto the bolt and tighten it using a wrench. As far as everyone watching her? Lim's team mates found a solution to help her get used to the staring eyes.
“We had her come to my house so she could practice with my whole family staring at her,” explained Guyette.
“These young women are so motivated to do well and that's been important,” said Spokane MESA Director Joanna Moznetter. “They find time outside of class to work on this. I have high hopes for these girls.”
The national competition will be held June 21-23 at Portland State University. No matter what the outcome, all three Shadle freshman say they hope to compete in MESA next year. Click here to see a video of their arm in action.