Weekly Maryland MESA Meetings
Students attend weekly meetings with MESA advisors and counselors. At these meetings, students are provided with mathematics and science workshops, assistance with science/mathematics fair projects, career counseling sessions, self-esteem workshops, goal-setting and problem-solving activities, computer literacy instruction, and technical writing seminars.
In an effort to make students more aware of careers in the sciences, Maryland MESA sponsors field experiences that enable students to interact with engineers, mathematicians, and scientists in their professional environments. Field trips are planned according to students' interests and research projects. Students conduct research, write summaries, and participate in related discussions and workshops.
Science Fairs, Engineering Projects, and Mathematics Competitions
Maryland MESA provides students with scientific methodology instruction and guidance in researching and preparing their science and engineering research projects by encouraging them to select topics of special interest and to function scientifically, creatively, and independently. With guidance from MESA advisors, students develop science and engineering research projects for entry in school science fairs, the Maryland Science Fair, and the Morgan State University Science Fair. Maryland MESA students are also invited to participate in the Science Olympiad, as well as activities sponsored by MathCounts, Olympics of the Mind, and local colleges and universities.
To assist students in improving and developing their academic abilities and problem-solving skills in math, engineering, and science, Maryland MESA partners with universities and colleges to sponsor Saturday Academies. These programs consist of academic tutorials and hands-on projects that assist students in developing their knowledge of scientific concepts and applications.
Maryland MESA partners with local universities, colleges, and industry organizations to offer two summer programs. Students participate in hands-on activities such as balloon and rocket design and construction. Included in the curriculum are workshops and classes in science and mathematics, computer programming, communication and study skills, and career orientation and awareness. These programs also include guest speakers and field trips to science- and engineering-related sites.
Career Counseling, Academic Tutoring, and Mentoring
Maryland MESA advisors partner with professional engineers, college students, and parents to provide tutoring and mentoring opportunities for students. MESA advisors also alert students to potential sources of scholarships and other financial aid. Students are introduced to a variety of colleges and universities through college bulletins, meetings with visiting college and university admissions representatives, and field trips to local colleges and universities. Maryland MESA students also have the opportunity to meet and interact with college students majoring in science and engineering.
Because the ability to use technology as a tool is essential for engineers, scientists, and mathematicians, it is important for Maryland MESA students to have strong technical and computer capabilities. Students participate in computer and technology tutorials, use scientific and graphing calculators, utilize the Internet for research, and have access to computers and technology for practice and personal use.
Communication Skills Instruction
Because the ability to communicate verbally and in writing is critical to success in any discipline, Maryland MESA emphasizes that it is important for students to perform at a high level in English as well as in science and math courses. To strengthen verbal and written skills, students work with educators and mentors to develop and execute verbal presentations, prepare written evaluations of field experiences, write technical reports in conjunction with science and engineering research projects, and may keep a written journal of their activities and accomplishments. Maryland MESA also provides information to its students about locally and nationally sponsored essay and public speaking contests.
Students who maintain at least a B average in mathematics, science, and English are eligible to receive incentive awards. Maryland MESA students also receive certificates and other tangible acknowledgments of their participation and achievements in MESA.
Workshops and Training for Teachers
Maryland MESA teachers and advisors are provided with professional development opportunities that relate to the mission, goals, and purposes of the Maryland MESA program. Workshops are held during the summer and throughout the academic year. Through these workshops, MESA teachers learn new teaching and motivational strategies; receive academic enrichment materials and information; increase their awareness of math-, science-, engineering-, and technology-related careers and the academic preparation required for entering these fields; network and exchange ideas with colleagues; and interact with university, industry, and governmental agency members.