Join our virtual MESA Talks: Non-Traditional College Paths on Monday, April 15th at 5:00pm


Program Updates – Winter 2021

We are working hard for our incredible students! From delivering 359 Ideation Kits to students, to hosting virtual College and Careers visits, Family Nights, Invention Clubs, and STEM Coaching sessions, to recruiting students for Invention Bootcamp, MESA is going strong. Check out more detailed programming updates below and find opportunities to partner with us and work with our students!

School Chapters

Our school chapters have been meeting virtually and implementing the MESA curriculum in new and innovative ways. To facilitate this, MESA delivered 359 Ideation Kits and 87 MicroBits to students this year. Ideation Kits are supplies for students to brainstorm and prototype creative STEM ideas. MicroBits are hardware that creates a bridge between cyber coding and physical hardware for technical solutions to real world problems or opportunities. We are so excited to see the projects our students have been working on at our upcoming Demo Day!

Are you interested in starting a MESA Chapter at your school? Applications are open for the Fall 2021 MESA Schools Program in each of our regions: Washington County, Clackamas County, Marion County, and Multnomah County! Fill out the interest form by March 2nd!

College and Careers Visits

To ensure that our students have access to a wide network of opportunities, we are hosting virtual college and careers visits.

Virtual Career Visits are a 1-1.5 hour career exploration sessions hosted by a company, lab, university, or start-up. A representative from each organization will be available to interact with students, give a virtual tour, and answer questions. Our first one happened on 02/10 with Mahlum Architects! Our students got to know some of Mahlum’s architects, learned about methods that help architects realize a built project, and discussed how to prepare for a career in architecture.

Are you interested in participating? Register here! Are you interested in hosting a career visit at your company? We would love to feature you and expand the opportunities for our students to digitally see different career paths and company sites! Email Bianca and Taiye at and with subject line “VCV Volunteer” if you are interested, we’ll work with you to determine an hour of live interaction between students and yourself/your employees!

We are also hosting Virtual College Visits to familiarize our students with higher education institutions in the state. Students can take virtual tours, ask folks from admissions questions about the school, and start planning for their future! This month and in March we are hosting visits with Oregon State University, OIT, Mt. Hood Community College, and University of Portland. Here are the dates currently scheduled! Know MESA students that would be interested? Encourage them to sign up here!

Family Nights

Family nights are happening every Wednesday in the month April. Our Middle and High School Nights will be offered both in English and Spanish, and will feature exciting activities hosted by OMSI. Stay on the lookout for more info on how to register.

Invention Clubs

MESA launched four Invention Clubs in Multnomah County and Washington County this fall! Invention Clubs are open enrollment versions of our MESA Schools Program. Students must qualify for free/reduced lunch to participate. MESA is launching 1-2 Invention Clubs in Washington County, Marion County, Clackamas County, and Multnomah County this winter. Learn more and encourage students to fill out an interest form today!

STEM Coaching

In January, we concluded the Exploration Phase of our STEM Coaching Program. Students joined our virtual Exploration meetings from November to January to meet our Coaches. Students have chosen their coaches, and they will meet with them during office hours each month. Are you interested in learning about the STEM Coaching program? Read this brochure to find out more. You can reach out to our Program Coordinator at for any questions.

Invention Bootcamp

MESA is recruiting for Invention Bootcamp! Invention Bootcamp is a STEM invention summer program hosted at the PSU college of engineering. Due to distance learning, you’ll be able to attend online even if you don’t live in Portland metro region. Visit this link for more information and check out the application in English or Spanish.

OMSI Family Science Night

Last year we partnered with OMSI to offer our families a free night of science and learning at OMSI. We’re partnering with them again this year to bring the experience to our families in a virtual format on March 10th. Be on the lookout for more information, we are so excited for this partnership!