Launching into the New School Year

Back to school season is always an exciting time here at MESA and we are so excited to be launching into the new school year! Our team spent the summer incorporating valuable feedback from our students, families, and teachers into our plans for the coming school year. This involved curriculum adjustments and enhancements, solidifying our annual theme, creating functional communication and supply ordering systems for our teachers, and so much more. 

Summer Invention Institutes

In August we hosted MESA teachers from across Oregon at Portland State University for our Summer Invention Institute, a two-day intensive training on human centered design, microcontrollers, and engineering education. We also announced our annual theme: Designing for Environmental Conservation. Elaine Harvey from Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fisheries Commission, Hannah Schrager from Metro, Meng Vue & Armani Thomas from Friends of Trees, and Micah Meskel from Portland Audubon joined the trainings to be interviewed by our advisors as clients doing work in the environmental conservation sector in the Portland Metro Area and Columbia River Basin.


Several new teachers joined the trainings this year, as well as many returning teachers who hosted MESA chapters in the past. The wealth of knowledge, expertise and passion in the room was deeply inspiring and motivating. In mid-October, the state office team will hit the road to join the regional team in Klamath Falls for the local Invention Institute in their area. This is the first time we are bringing the training to Klamath as part of our strategies to make MESA as accessible for teachers as possible. 

Expanding Our Reach

While it’s always fun to be in project mode, nothing comes close to knowing that students across the state are finally in the classrooms starting their MESA year, so we are very excited school is back in session. In addition to over thirty returning schools and invention clubs from across the state, we are welcoming several new MESA chapters this year:

  • George Middle School
  • Woodlawn Elementary
  • Ockley Green Middle School
  • Roosevelt High School 
  • Swegle Elementary 
  • Lane Middle School 
  • Bonanza High School
  • Henley High School 
  • Reynolds Middle School
  • Connected Lane County

We are thrilled to bring MESA to more students and give them the opportunity to develop their talents and explore their potential in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. To see all of our active chapters, check out this map.

For more information about our strategic updates and newly relaunched volunteer opportunities (such as our STEAM Coaches Program and Regional Equity Committees), please join us virtually at our All Partners Meeting on Tuesday, September 19th, 2023 at 5:30pm. The link to register is here: tinyurl.com/ormesapartners

Can’t make it to the meeting but want real-time updates about events and opportunities to get involved? Sign up to our newsletter at tinyurl.com/ormesanewsletter