Below are frequently asked questions about Oregon MESA.
If your question isn’t answered here, please contact us and we’ll get back to you shortly.
What is MESA and who do you serve?
A: MESA stands for Mathematics, Engineering, Science, Achievement.
Learn more about our mission and what we do.
A: The MESA Schools Program (MSP) is a pre-college program for students grades 5-12th. It’s an academic enrichment program that is offered to underrepresented middle and high school students in select schools in Oregon. It is typically held after school, but we do have some schools that utilize MESA curriculum in elective classes. MESA programs are taught by teachers, known as Advisors, within the schools who have been trained on the MESA curriculum. Learn more about our programs.
A: MESA students work in teams to identify, design, and build hands-on invention projects that attempt to solve an issue for clients. We also offer seasonal programs and workshops to MESA students and their families to prepare students for college, professional workforces, and various career fields.
A: Underserved or underrepresented students are those who are not largely represented in science, technology, engineering, or math fields. This includes underrepresented students of color (American Indian/Alaska Native, African-American/Black, Hispanic/Latinx, or Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander), girls, non-binary students, and students from low-income backgrounds. Our mission is to serve these students so that they may achieve their postsecondary aspirations in STEM fields. Therefore, we only offer our programs to schools with large populations of underrepresented students.
A: MESA Day is our annual state competition for the MESA Schools Program. Student teams compete at MESA Day to test and demonstrate their engineering projects, which they have developed throughout the school year.
A: MESA is managed by program staff at Portland State University in the Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science and is advised by an advisory board that meets regularly. Learn more about our staff and board members.
I’m not currently part of MESA—how can I get involved?
A: Our mission is to serve historically underrepresented students in middle and high schools across Oregon. To qualify as a MESA schools, >50% of the students in your school have to EITHER qualify for free/reduced lunch OR be considered an Underrepresented student of color (American Indian/Alaska Native, African-American/Black, Hispanic/Latinx, or Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander). If you’re interested in starting a MESA Chapter, you can complete the letter of interest and email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A: We always have short term and long term opportunities available to volunteer for MESA. If you’re a former MESA student, connect with other alumni!
A: If you are interested in contributing financially to the Oregon MESA, visit our donation page.
A: We are always looking for opportunities to partner with community organizations to bring new programs to our students.
A: If MESA is already offered at your school, you can contact the advisor who runs your MESA chapter by locating your chapter on the MESA Schools page and contacting us to inquire about the Advisor at your school.
Where is MESA and how do I find out about events?
A: Our administrative office is housed at Portland State University in the Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science. However, because we bring programs to our students in their schools, our programs are held at many different schools and locations.
A: Because we frequently partner with community programs and organizations, we offer seasonal workshops and programs throughout the year in topics ranging from computer science to college access.
A: Visit our contact page to ask questions and share comments or concerns with us via our contact form. You can also send an email directly to email@example.com. We frequently check this email and try to get through all responses within one week. If you need to contact us for a pressing matter, please call our office phone number at 503-725-4665.
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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.