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Two NMSU-based teams qualify for national STEM competition

Two Deming school teams based at New Mexico State University will move on to a national competition after winning a statewide contest last month.


Student teams from Red Mountain Middle School and Deming High School will represent New Mexico after winning the New Mexico Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) USA National Engineering Design Qualifying Competition, which took place April 22 at the New Mexico Military Institute campus. Both teams will participate in the national competition in June in Ogden, Utah, and compete against the winners from other state MESA programs.

Red Mountain Middle and Deming High are sponsored by the MESA Southwest Region Office, which is housed in the College of Education at NMSU. In all, four teams represented MESA Southwest at the state competition. Mayfield High and Deming Intermediate schools were the other participating teams. Last year, students from Red Mountain and Mayfield traveled to nationals, said Terry Ramirez, southwest regional coordinator of MESA.

The focus of the state competition was a prosthetic arm design with a microprocessor programming component. Students had to program an arm to place items in and out of a designated area, toss items into a specific target zone and secure nuts onto bolts with a testing apparatus. Teams also had to write an accompanying technical paper, create an accompanying academic poster and present research to a panel of judges.

?Performance for all teams was outstanding,? said Anita Gonzales, New Mexico MESA program coordinator. ?NM MESA students are commended for their commitment to academic excellence and for reinforcing the NM MESA vision of preparing students for college majors and careers in math, engineering, technology and science.?

The four teams were selected to compete against six other New Mexico teams after participating in another statewide competition, MESA Day, Ramirez said.

?At that time they also had to submit a proposal and go through an interview process to be selected,? Ramirez said. ?We are extremely excited for all four teams.?