Carter and Rialto High Schools Advance in MESA Science Competition

RUSD Photos: Mikal Thompson, a science teacher at Rialto High School and MESA advisor, works with Brandon Aldana, Jr., on a class project recently. Aldana helped the Knights win first place in the Math Escape Challenge at the MESA competition hosted by the University of California, Riverside. Overall, Rialto High School earned an incredible seven first-place finishes during the competition.

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The Knights and Lions are on fire – and not the kind a fire department needs to help; these schools thrive on academic excellence in science MESA Education.

On March 2, 2022, students from Carter and Rialto High Schools participated in the Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) competition, where professors and higher education experts from the University of California, Riverside (UCR) judged the work of several high schools. , including high school students Carter and Rialto.

On March 17, 2022, the winning MESA students were announced, and many Knights and Lions won first, second, and third place in the competition.

Catherine Sanchez, MESA counselor and science teacher at Carter High School, and Mikal Thompson, MESA counselor and science teacher at Rialto High School, were ranked “very good” in the competition.

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Rialto High School students who placed in the MESA competition include: In the MESA Think Tank category, the first place winners for 9th and 10th graders were: Melanie Luna and Steve Diaz. In the MESA Think Tank category, the first place winners for juniors and seniors were: Isaac Lima and Javier Santiago. In the MESA Moon Base category, the third place winners for ninth and tenth graders were: Isaac Perez, Frederick Barraza and Luis Ochoa. In the Math Escape Challenge category, the first place winners were: Alex Hernandez, Gilberto Beltran and Brandon Aldana. Second place winners were: Andrew Turner, John Barreto. In the Cargo Glider category for grades 9 and 10, the first place winners were: Natalie Iraheta, Dalia Cabrera and Georgette Salazar. In the National Engineering Design Competition (NEDC): Engineering Interview category, the first place winners were: Giovanny Felix, Jasbeth Perez and Alissa Pivac. In the NEDC: Digital Poster Board category, the second place winners were: Giovanny Felix, Jasbeth Perez, Alissa Pivac. In the NEDC: Pitch Video category, the first place winners were: Giovanny Felix, Jasbeth Perez, Alissa Pivac. In the NEDC: Overall category, the first place winners were: Giovanny Felix, Jasbeth Perez, Alissa Pivac.

“It was a good competition,” said Thompson, who taught for 18 years at Rialto High School and served as an advisor for Rialto High School’s outstanding MESA program for 17 years. “I know it’s hard to get students back to work on projects, I’m proud of these students and their accomplishments and just for their participation. I’m glad they did so well in the event and we look forward to regional competition.

Students from Carter High School’s Math, Engineering, Science (MESA) team work together in a recent competition. The Lions recently had an excellent performance in the MESA competition organized by the University of California at Riverside, placing in several categories.

“It was a team effort,” said Aldana, a Rialto High School junior who helped his team win the Math Escape Challenge. “Honestly, I thought we didn’t have a good time on the project. We took a little time on the first game and we struggled a lot, but we worked together and got first place together. We talked to each other. We just tried everything. We all had different ideas, so we tried each one to see which one worked.

Carter High School students who placed in the MESA competition included: In the MESA Think Tank category, the second place winners for juniors and seniors were: Omar Castellon, Karla Fuentes and Alanna Gutierrez. In the category of second place winners of MESA Moon Base for ninth and tenth graders, there were: Ana Hernandez and Aidan Lim. First place winners for ninth and tenth graders were: Andrew Ly and Bryan Ortega and first place winners for juniors and seniors were: Alan Ly and Cristobal Vazquez.

“Our students did exceptionally well in the MESA competition,” Sanchez said. “I am so proud of all the hard work that all of my MESA students have done every day since we returned from COVID. I know it hasn’t been an easy year to come back to, but it was something that we all missed working together in person and competing again.

Sanchez is a 26-year veteran public education educator who began teaching at Carter High School four years ago. Sanchez also taught at Kolb Middle School as a MESA counselor and science teacher.

Students who won first place in the competition qualify for the MESA Southern California Regional Competition at the University of California, Irvine on Saturday, April 23, 2022.

“Irvine has tough competition, but my students have a good solid project,” Thompson said. “They know their project well. I think they have a good chance.”

Sanchez informed the district that Carter High School students dominated in the CODING SOLUTION category (using Python). The first place winners were: students Alan Ly and Cristobal Vazquez, the second place winner was Jonathan Arevalo and the third place winners were Isabelle Lepe and Julio Rivera.

“Mesa as a whole has inspired me to be a better person,” replied Vazquez, a senior at Carter High School. “This year’s events were very different from previous years and offered new challenges to overcome. Honestly, I was nervous about competing, but overall I was very excited to see the results of my hard work. The MESA and Ms. Sanchez class requires you to learn time management skills, use prior knowledge to solve problems, and develop a strong work ethic. I have always appreciated the opportunity to work with my peers and create innovative projects.

The Crime Scene Investigation Competition was held on March 8, 2022 at Carter High School. Additionally, for juniors and seniors, first place prizes went to students Alanna Gutierrez and Karla Fuentes, second place winners for juniors and seniors were Sacred Moseley and Bryan Ortega. The ninth and tenth graders who took first place were Italy Lepe, Alena Driscoll and David Naranjo. The ninth and tenth graders who took second place were Tristan Park, Eryka Blanco, Rachel Montanez and Madison Inzunza.

“I was happy to have participated in the MESA competition,” replied Fuentes, a junior from Carter High School, who impressively won second and first place in different categories. “I enjoyed the competition, with my classmates. We wanted to make our teacher proud. A teacher can make a difference for their students and Ms. Sanchez was there throughout the competition for us.

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Sam D. Gomez