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With the right network of support, our youth are capable of unlocking solutions to the world’s toughest problems, such as eliminating poverty and disease, conserving finite resources, and creating renewable energy sources.

When you volunteer with Oregon MESA, we are able to expand our service areas, extend our programming and offer life-changing opportunities to more students.

For the 2020-2021 school year, our volunteer programs will operate virtually in order to meet the needs of our students and comply with state guidelines for distance learning and COVID-19 safety protocols.

Volunteer for MESA Day 2021


May 18th - 20th from 4:30pm - 6pm

We’re looking for volunteers for MESA Day 2021!  MESA Day is traditionally the largest annual competition for the hundreds of students served by Oregon MESA. Every year, student-teams are given a challenge (National Engineering Design Competition or NEDC) for which they will identify a problem for a client, create a prototype, and bring to MESA day to compete against other Oregon MESA Students. 

This year, we are celebrating MESA Day in a 3-day virtual event May 18th-20th from 4:30pm to 6pm.  Students will submit their NEDC projects online before the event and receive feedback from volunteer judges. They will also get to attend a virtual College & Career Fair, participate in a mini-competition, complete a scavenger hunt, and more!

Sign up to volunteer here or contact our Program Coordinator Bianca at bchacamp@pdx.edu

MESA Day Volunteer Opportunities

College & Career Fair
Team Lead

Organize a team of 2-5 people to represent your company or organization at a virtual booth in our College & Career Fair. Serve as the main point of contact between your team and Oregon MESA Staff.  (If you are from industry: we recommend that Team Leads be strategically placed in community outreach or education outreach positions at their respective organizations, however we encourage you to sign-up if your organization is small and does not have a designated outreach department.)

Time Commitment: 3-4 hours

Dates: 5/19 4pm-6pm, training week of May 3rd

Team Member

Join your company/organization’s team at a virtual booth in the virtual fair.  Sign up for this if a Team Lead from your company/organization has invited you to join the booth.

Time Commitment: 2-3 hours

Dates: 5/19 4pm-6pm, training week of May 3rd

Individual Exhibitor

If you are a STEM professional or researcher with an interesting project or demo you would like to share virtually with our students, you can have your own booth!

Time Commitment: 3-4 hours

Dates: 5/19 4pm-6pm, training week of May 3rd

Challenges & Competitions
NEDC Judge

Volunteer to judge student-teams’ submitted projects for the National Engineering Design Competition.  At the beginning of the school year, students were given the theme of “designing for equity & la familia” and tasked to solve a problem using human centered design for family and members of the community. Teams will be submitting a written design brief and project pitch video. You’ll be responsible for reviewing design briefs or videos, providing feedback and scoring based on a rubric.

Time Commitment: 3-4 hours

Dates: judging asynchronous 5/10-5/17, training week of 5/3

MESA Day Competition Judge

Judge our mini-competition held on MESA Day #1.  This is an optional for-fun challenge students can compete in during the event. We will provide training on project guidelines and a simple rubric.

Time Commitment: 2-3 hours

Dates: judging asynchronously 5/19, training week of 5/10

More Volunteer Opportunities

To volunteer, read our volunteer opportunities below and please fill out the Volunteer Interest Form.


Time Commitment: 2-8 hours weekly

Mentors work with a teacher (MESA Advisor) to run a chapter of 6-12th grade student inventors at MESA schools. They support students with long-term invention projects, research curriculum activities for MESA Advisors, and serve as a point of contact between Oregon MESA and their chapters.


Time Commitment: 2-5 hours per task

Curriculum Helpers will assist our Program Manger with various tasks related to lesson preparation. This includes translating documents, reviewing or recording short content, or packing and distributing Invention Toolkits.


Time Commitment: 2 hours bi-weekly

STEM Career Coaches are professionals and college students that serve in a traditional mentorship capacity to MESA students. They will host informal meetings to answer questions and provide insight into their field, guide career/college planning and exploration, and provide homework help as needed.


Time Commitment: 3-5 hours

Speakers will present on and talk with students and/or the MESA audience about a STEM or equity related topic. Speakers can operate in one of three different capacities:

  • Featured Speaker: Will share their personal story related to their career, business, and/or research.
  • Tour Guide: Will showcase their office/lab through a recorded or live experience.
  • Workshop Leader: Will prepare a guided STEM activity for MESA students.

Tour guides and workshop leaders can volunteer on behalf of themselves or their company/organization, and can work in teams to present. If you know someone who would make a fantastic MESA speaker, please introduce us to them! Email our Program Coordinator at bchacamp@pdx.edu.


Time Commitment: 3-5 hours

Judges will be recruited for various events to score student competition entries. They are STEM experts, educators, and/or MESA partners. All judges will receive training prior to the event on the scoring tool.


Time Commitment: 2-5 hours

Family Connectors will help us reach out to families and students. Sometimes a phone call makes a huge difference. Having multi-language skills is a plus!


Time Commitment: 1-2 hours

The MESA Champion is someone who supports MESA's mission, spreads the word about MESA, and forges connections. They will share all MESA email and social media communications to their networks, and connect potential students, teachers, and volunteers to MESA staff.

Want to help, but not sure what fits? Sign-up anyway! We'll reach out and work with you to find a role that fits! Fill out our Volunteer Interest Form and reach out to Bianca at bchacamp@pdx.edu if you have any questions.

Help Oregon MESA thrive

Our success depends on a passionate community of supporters who believe in our commitment to equity in STEM education. Join us as a volunteer, mentor, donor, or other supporter.