Student Team From Spokane's Shaw Middle School to Compete at MESA USA
Joanna Moznette, MESA, WSU Spokane, 509-358-7966, email@example.com;
Becki Meehan, WSU Spokane/WSU News Service, 509-358-7528, firstname.lastname@example.org
Shaw Middle School team members Taylor Dewey-Buchanan, Zach Martinez, and Daniel Grishko with (left to right) Spokane MESA director Janet Ebaugh, teacher Jessica Gaddy, Spokane MESA coordinator Bethany Coupens, and Washington MESA statewide director James Dorsey.
Dewey-Buchanan, Grishko, and Martinez won the Engineering event where they designed a windmill using materials provided by MESA. When the windmill was acted on by a standard box fan, it created energy that was converted into both mechanical and kinetic power.
The mechanical power task required the windmill power be used to lift a mass of variable weight up to a certain height. Students were scored on how quickly they lifted the mass to 75 centimeters. The object's mass and the time taken to lift the object determined the power achieved (mJ/s).
The kinetic energy task required the windmill power be used to pull a 200 gram student-designed vehicle 250 centimeters. The vehicle was required to cross the finish line in 1 minute or less while maintaining contact with the floor throughout the trial from start to finish. The vehicle mass and speed was used to determine the kinetic energy of the vehicle (J).
Spokane MESA did very well at Washington MESA Day taking home three of the six top honors in the wind energy competition Middle School: first place to Shaw and second place to Salk; High School: second place to Shadle Park. Dewey-Buchanan was also on the first place team for the Math Quest Competition.
The goal of MESA is to provide globally competitive and individually competent students in Mathematics, Engineering and science with full participation of under-represented students, including African Americans, Latinos(a), Native Americans, Pacific Islanders, and females of all ethnicities. These annual competitions are a celebration of their efforts and an excellent opportunity to see young scientists in action.
The Spokane MESA center is one of six in the state of Washington. It was founded in 1989 and serves approximately 400 students each year at 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th grade levels. Spokane MESA is supported by both Washington State University Spokane and Eastern Washington University to maintain a high level of service to the Spokane area schools.
Spokane MESA: http://www.spokane.wsu.edu/researchoutreach/MESA/
(Courtesy of WSU Spokane, footage from Spokane MESA 2010 Competition)