The Issue: High Cost of Robotics Kits and Other IT Equipment
The UC Santa Cruz MESA (Mathematics, Engineering, and Science Achievement) Schools Program serves low-income and educationally disadvantaged students from the 6th through 12th grades. These youth, who mostly live in the rural areas of Santa Cruz and Monterey counties, have demonstrated a high interest in IT projects—even wanting to participate in the Central Region MESA robotics competition. However, the high cost of equipment, training, and tools have proven an insurmountable obstacle for their schools, limiting their education and access to burgeoning technological fields.
The Campaign: Purchasing Robotics Kits for MESA Students
All donations to this Grassroots campaign will be used by UC Santa Cruz MESA Schools Program to purchase robotics kits for their students in the 6th through 12th grade. For every $350 raised, UC Santa Cruz MESA Schools Program can purchase one LEGO Mindstorms EV3 Robotics Kit. With these kits, MESA teachers can teach students about IT and give them opportunities to use inquiry-based discovery methods and boost their technological skills. These kits can also be used for both the middle- and high-school MESA Day robotics competitions. UC Santa Cruz MESA Schools Program hopes to purchase 14 kits, which would allow them to maximize student usage by lending them out to the 16 schools they work with.
UC Santa Cruz MESA Schools Program
UC Santa Cruz MESA (Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement) Schools Program prepares educationally disadvantaged students for success at four-year colleges or universities, helping them graduate with math-based STEM degrees. Nationally recognized for its effective academic-development program, MESA has helped thousands of students from low-income backgrounds become scientists, mathematicians, and engineers since 1970. Targeting historically non-college-going communities, the program's classes and activities typically take place at a participating school after class or through elective courses held during the day. Led by MESA Advisors—science or math teachers—these classes help students develop leadership skills, gain confidence, and improve their educational performance. And when not working on projects for a MESA Day competition, participating students get to attend college campus tours and field trips to such STEM havens as the California Academy of Sciences.