Improving lives through invention

Oregon MESA

Providing Oregon students underrepresented in STEM with invention education opportunities through real-world problem solving

Oregon MESA (Mathematics, Engineering and Science Achievement) is a pre-college, out-of-school time program that provides invention education opportunities to middle and high school students throughout the state of Oregon.

Housed at Portland State University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science, Oregon MESA equips teachers to help underserved students excel in STEM through hands-on invention projects. The program serves more than 600 Oregon students annually with a focus on schools with large populations of students who are traditionally underrepresented in STEM.

MESA students work in teams throughout the school year to identify, design, and build prototypes that attempt to solve an issue for a designated client or population. Each year, the program culminates in MESA Day — the state competition for the MESA Schools Program — where students compete by testing and demonstrating their engineering projects. The winning team goes on to MESA USA’s national competition for students participating in MESA across the country.

Photo Credit: Oregon MESA

Oregon MESA was founded in 1985 in Portland by community leaders of color to address education equity in STEM. For nearly 40 years, it has contributed to more marginalized and low-income students in Oregon graduating from high school, enrolling in post-secondary studies, and entering the workforce with STEM skills.

The Foundation’s support of Oregon MESA is part of its commitment to demonstrate replicable practices for building a comprehensive and healthy invention ecosystem in Oregon and nationally to fuel the innovation economy with diverse, talented leaders.

Photo Credit: Oregon MESA

Learn more about Oregon MESA here:

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