MESA Research Academy

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In Summer and Fall 2012 the San Diego MESA Alliance and the California Space Grant Consortium implemented a pilot program entitled:

MESA Research Academy: A Train-the-Trainer Academy for Understanding “What Is Research?”

The goal was to provide exposure to engineering research and hands-on experience to underrepresented student populations in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) from precollege to university levels.

During the five-day Research Academy, 10 students from Southwestern College and 10 students from San Diego City College shadowed five research projects:

  1. High Altitude Balloon Project at UCSD
  2. Aircraft Wing Structural Dynamics at UCSD
  3. Mixing and Flow Control in High Speed Combustors at SDSU
  4. Sensorimotor Prosthetic Hand (robotics project) at SDSU
  5. Dynamics of Flame Spread in Microgravity at SDSU

For most of these community college students, this was their first time working alongside graduate students in a laboratory conducting research.

To further increase the impact of this experience, the students prepared presentations on their work and presented to hundreds of students at their community colleges as well as K-12 students in the MESA Schools Program. To view select student presentations please click the above links.

  • Co-PIs: Dr. Gustaaf Jacobs (SDSU) and Theresa Garcia (SDSU), Rafael Alvarez (San Diego City College) and Dr. Raga Bakhiet (Southwestern College)
  • Pre-College Collaborative Partners: Jeanette Ramos-Espino (SDSU) and Marvin Maldonado (SDSU)

The San Diego MESA Alliance and California Space Grant Consortium intend to run this program annually. San Diego City College and Southwestern College students interested in participating in Summer 2013 should their respective MESA Directors.