What is MESA?
The Math, Engineering & Science Academy is housed upstairs in the new wing of Albemarle High School. The Academy is now in its sixth year and continuing to build on the fundamentals outlined in the text and videos below. If you enjoy academic challenges, if you like to be surrounded by students who love learning, if you like building and designing and creating, if you like working in teams where everyone is engaged and you enjoy a fast pace learning experience, then MESA may be the place for you.
The Math, Engineering and Science Academy offers a four-year program designed to prepare students for a college preparatory pathway to a career in engineering. Students will thrive in a state-of-the-art laboratory environment designed to provide authentic experiences in mathematics, engineering, and science. Academy students will explore science and mathematics through the lens of engineering research and design. Students will learn to communicate complex ideas reflecting the rapid growth of technologies applicable in the global community. Students enrolled in the Academy will have the opportunity to experiment with cutting edge technologies as they interact and intern with professionals in the science, mathematical, and engineering fields.
Students at the 9th/10th grade level will take their standard math and science courses through the MESA program. See the figure to the right. Students will take four classes over two years and receive credits in Algebra II, Trig, Math Analysis, Physics, Chemistry and Earth Science. The extra credits received at the 9th/10th grade level allow students the opportunity to take college level engineering courses and independent research courses at the 11th and 12th grade level.
MESA is an integrated curriculum in which we relate math and science together so that students understand the relationships and the interactions between the two and develop a deeper understanding of how things relate. For example, when logarithms are covered as a topic in Algebra II, we explore the various uses in all the sciences.
Students at MESA work together in collaborative teams to design and problem-solve. They are interested in applying theoretical knowledge in practical ways by building, creating, designing and inventing. Students will be immersed in the Scientific Method and encouraged to ask "What if ...?" or "What happens when ...?" They will need to be able to be resilient and to try new options when one idea fails. As Thomas Edison famously said, "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." Edison also said, "Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration." Students at MESA will be challenged not only to create new ideas or ways of doing things, but to be persistent in making them a reality, and to continue to improve their strength, performance or cost-effectiveness.
If you enjoy "Mythbusters", building models with Legos, K'Nex, or other materials, robotics, Destination Imagination challenges, puzzles, or generally 'figuring things out,' you would be a good candidate for MESA.