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Demo Days 2024: Inventions for a Sustainable Future

MESA students never cease to amaze us. Over the last week, students and community members gathered at our three regional Demo Days across Oregon to see our future innovators in action. Demo Day is MESA’s community showcase where students present the inventions they have been working on and get valuable feedback from the community. In line with our annual theme,  Climate Action: Designing for Environmental Conservation, student teams have been working with a client in their community to design projects that protect, preserve, and guard environmental resources from the negative impacts of humans and their activities.

This year, we hosted Demo Days in Salem, Portland, and Klamath Falls. Families, partners, industry professionals, community members, and elected officials all joined in the fun to support our students and see them shine. We are so grateful for all of the volunteers, guests, exhibitors and Demo Day hosts who made these events possible! We also want to thank our wonderful Demo Day sponsors: The Lemelson Foundation, Portland State University, First Tech Federal Credit Union, Mahlum, Microsoft, and Unitus Community Credit Union

Check out pictures from the event in our Demo Day 2024 Photo Gallery, or keep on reading to find out more details about each event!

Demo Day 2024 Photo Gallery

Salem Demo Day

MESA students from across Marion and Lane Counties presented their innovative inventions on Friday, March 1st at Willamette University. Team Rockband from MESA invention club Connected Lane County placed first in the middle school division while the Greenhouse Gases team from Early College High School took home the trophy in the high school division. We are so proud of all the talented young inventors who showcased and participated in the competition! During the event, students also got to listen to an inspiring keynote by mechanical engineer, energy efficiency coach and MESA board member Rihana Mungin. Students had the chance to connect with and meet with exhibitors from Oregon State University, Microsoft, Western Oregon University, and Oregon Institute of Technology.

Portland Metro Demo Day

The MESA Portland Metro community joined Demo Day on Saturday, March 2nd at The Redd East event space, where students from Multnomah, Lane, and Clackamas Counties showcased their projects to a wide audience of families, community members, industry professionals, and elected officials. The inspiring industrial  event space provided the perfect backdrop for the showcasing student teams, who stunned the community with their inventions for a more sustainable future.

Team G.A.L.A. from Alder Creek Middle School walked home with the light bulb trophy, placing first in the middle school division, while team Abundant Antophilia from McDaniel High School gained the first place in the High School division with a watering device that addresses the problem of bees emerging early from hibernation and not having enough flowers to pollinate. During the awards ceremony, senior manager of outreach and engagement at the National Parks Conservation Association Laura Navar inspired the audience by sharing her journey of connecting her community to nature. Students also got the chance to interact with exhibitors from OMSI and the Agile and Adaptive Robotics Lab from Portland State University. To learn more about Portland Metro Demo Day, check out this article on the Oregonian and this news story on KOIN 6 News.

Klamath Falls Demo Day

Finally, students from Klamath County schools gathered at Oregon Tech – Klamath Falls Campus on Tuesday, March 5th. Despite the snowy  weather conditions, nothing could stop MESA young inventors from showcasing their projects to the public. The Barbie Fairytopia team from Ponderosa Middle School and the Marigolds team from Mazama High School earned first place in their division with their innovative projects. Before the competition, students enjoyed a tour of the college and got inspired by Stephen Chase’s keynote, as he shared his experience as associate lead designer at ZCS Engineering.

We are so proud of all of our students who participated in all the Demo Days we hosted this year, and cannot wait to see them take their inventions to the next stage,  leading up to our culminating event of the year, MESA Day, happening on Friday, May 17th at Portland State University. While the event is not open to the public, you can join us as a volunteer! Fill out our general volunteer interest form and stay tuned for more information.