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April 5, 1999

Campus needs volunteers for Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement Day

By Tim Stephens

On Saturday, May 1, UCSC will host around 500 junior high and high school students from Central California for MESA Day, an annual academic competition. The students will demonstrate their skills in everything from soil testing to public speaking, and there will also be a variety of entertaining and educational events for them to attend.

MESA (Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement) is a UC program that serves economically and educationally disadvantaged students in California who are underrepresented in math-based fields. At UCSC, MESA provides academic enrichment services in middle and high schools to increase the number of underrepresented students who graduate with degrees in math, science, engineering, and agriculture.

UCSC will be hosting the Central California MESA Day event this year for the first time. The involvement of the campus community--faculty, staff, administrators, and students--is of paramount importance for the success of this event, said David Kliger, dean of Natural Sciences.

"MESA Day is a good opportunity for the university to showcase its community and campus to students whose stated goal is to attend college and earn a university degree," Kliger said.

The MESA students will be accompanied by MESA personnel, chaperones, and representatives of local industries. The student competitions will include:

There are many rewarding opportunities for UCSC faculty, staff, and students to help out with this event, said Tony Garcia, director of the UCSC MESA program. Faculty are needed to serve as judges in the competitions and can help in a variety of other ways as well. Volunteers are needed to welcome the visitors to the campus; provide information; set up the venues for events; serve lunch; and help students find the various locations where events will be held. Volunteers are also needed to register students and the projects they will be bringing with them.

Garcia is also interested in having UCSC students display projects they have worked on and talk to the MESA students about their work.

"We want to dazzle these kids and show them how exciting the university experience can be," Garcia said.

For more information about volunteering for MESA Day, call (831) 459-5648.

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