Academic preparation and education
Narrator: University of California president Robert Dynes visited Watsonville High School to see firsthand how students there are benefiting from the Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement, or MESA, program. This academic development program, which is administered by the University of California, works with thousands of educationally disadvantaged students so they excel in math and science and graduate with math-based degrees. Alan Brown, a retired Lockheed engineer who helped design the Stealth Fighter, volunteers as an engineering coach for MESA students at Watsonville High.
Alan Brown (Retired Engineer/MESA mentor): I come here every Saturday morning during the school year from September through April and talk to the kids about the basic physics of some of the mechanical programs we do in MESA like egg drop, glider, bridges and so on. Students whose family background probably makes them think that high school’s the greatest thing they can reach and a high school diploma is the highest level, suddenly find out there are new mountains to climb and they go to them. So, it’s a very rewarding program from that point of view – just to take the people who are in these school systems and make the maximum use of their intelligence and energy and enthusiasm.
Narrator: California MESA is the model for similar programs operating in over a dozen other states.
Watsonville High/MESA Program
Students, parents and teachers at Watsonville High School in Monterey County met with UC President Robert Dynes to discuss their participation in the Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) program. MESA is sponsored by UC to encourage more disadvantaged youth to go to four-year colleges and study math, science and engineering.