For Immediate Release
September 12, 2008
Contact: Regina Wilson
State Board of Education Recognizes Mendota Students Place First
In National Engineering Competition
Sacramento – The State Board of Education(SBE) recognized a student team from the rural community of Mendota who took first place in a national engineering design competition.
McCabe Junior High School students Adelmo Alvarado, Edgar Juarez, Francisco Torres and Angel Hernandez beat teams from across the country to win first place in the junior high school division of the competition, which was sponsored by the Mathematics, Engineering, and Science Achievement (MESA) program.
The competition called for students to build a trebuchet which is a siege engine similar to a catapult. The junior high entries were evaluated for distance and accuracy. In addition, team participants had to submit papers, develop an exhibit and provide oral presentations to demonstrate their knowledge of the principles behind their machines.
“These students have made their schools, their community, and the state very proud of their accomplishments. Their achievement will inspire other students to reach greater heights ”, said Ted Mitchell president of the State Board of Education.
At McCabe Junior High School, 99.7% of students are enrolled in the free/reduced meal plan and 72% are English language learners, according to the California Department of Education. The school, with 396 students, is ranked among the state’s lowest 20% of performing public institutions. Ninety-five percent of Mendota’s population is Hispanic, mostly farmworkers.
“As Booker T. Washington said “Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.” and these students have overcome obstacles to become the best in the nation”, said Mitchell.
MESA operates over 60 centers throughout the state, serving over 20,000 pre-college, community college and university students. Although most of the schools served by MESA are among lowest performing in California, 62% of MESA students completed the UC and CSU academic college preparatory (“A-G”) courses, compared to 32% of non-participants at the same schools. Of the African American, Latino American and American Indian students served by MESA, 29% are eligible to attend UC, compared to the statewide rate of 6.4%.
"Adelmo Alvarado, Edgar Juarez, Francisco Torres, and Angel Hernandez are amazing kids who succeeded despite the odds," said Jack O'Connell Superintendent of Public Instruction. "Their victory at the MESA competition shows if you work hard enough and believe in yourself, you will succeed. Congratulations to them, their parents, their adviser David Sackrison, and the MESA program for their inspirational work."
MESA, an intersegmental program, is administered by the University of California Office of the President.
Back Row: Johnathan Williams Board Member, Alan Bersin Board Member, Ken Noonan Board Member, Don Fisher Board Member, Jim Aschwanden Board Member, Jack O'Connell Superintendent of Public Instruction, Ted Mitchell President of State of Board of Education, David Lopez Board Member.
Front Row: Edgar Juarez, Angel Hernandez, Yvonne Chan Board Member, Francisco Torres and Adelmo Alvarado.