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Spring Break STEM Entrepreneurship Camp

For the first time ever, MESA partnered with Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon and University of Portland STEM Center to provide a free STEM Entrepreneurship camp for MESA middle schoolers!  This free, four-day long spring break day camp was a first-of-its-kind collaboration effort between Oregon MESA, MESO, and the University of Portland STEM Center.

spring break camp 2023

The camp featured a talk about about human-centered design from Jia Lu Ni, a designer from Evolve Collaborative; an intro class to marketing and advertising; a panel from local MESO-affiliated business owners and entrepreneurs; a special lesson on business pitches from Jessica Chang (UCLA Business graduate) that gave the chance to students to pitch their business plans to a panel of experts; and finally a talk on marketing with a hands-on activity, facilitated by Abigail Van Gelder from the PSU Center for Entrepreneurship.  Students also got to use of the Shiley School of Engineering’s Makerspace to prototype student-designed products and tour the Shiley School of Engineering, guided by students from the Society of Women Engineers.

Students pictured here with Lauren O’ Gara, Youth Services Manager at MESO; Robert D. Kelly, University of Portland’s President; and Valentina London, Oregon MESA’s Outreach & Engagement Coordinator.

Our talented campers designed products, created websites, commercials and business plans, and developed a pitch that they presented on the last day of this amazing camp. Lauren O’ Gara, Youth Services Manager at MESO, shared how “the camp was such a pleasure to plan and teach” and she was “so impressed with the students’ creative ideas.” We are so grateful for this partnership and so proud of the work of our young inventors!

Want to partner with MESA and provide our students with more opportunities like this one? Learn more on this page or send us an email at!