YVTC MESA Middle School Program targets middle school students who are underrepresented (African American, Native American,Hispanic/Latino, Pacific Islanders, and Women) in the fields of Math, Science, and Engineering to introduce and develop their interest in STEM fields. As of 2015, the program is offered at ten schools in Yakima Valley and Tri Cities areas. For the list of the schools, please see MESA Schools.
The program offers two models: MESA class and before/after school club, with enhanced curriculum and hands-on activities.
- Industry Guest Lectures. Students learn about various areas in STEM from professionals in the field, through classroom presentations and Q&A sessions.
- Industry Field Trips. Students visit STEM-related sites (e.g., science museums, corporate sites, university labs) to gain first-hand experiences.
- Math Activities. Students build their critical thinking and problem solving skills through hands-on math activities.
- Engineering Activities. Students develop a basic understanding of the process engineers go through and what to take into consideration when working on a project.
- Conferences. STEM professionals teach students about different careers in STEM fields, through hands-on activity workshops.
- MESA Day. Students learn about 6-8 challenges throughout the school year and compete in the challenges of their choice on a regional MESA Day.
The K-12 Program partners with teachers, administrators, school district officials, and industry representatives to provide this academic enrichment model. Students are selected to participate in the K-12 Program through a process that involves teachers at participating schools and the MESA coordinators.