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Introduce A Girl To Engineering Day

For Immediate Release:  March 1, 2016
Natasha Celise


That’s just what the MESA Program at San Diego State University did on Thursday, February 25, 2016. 30 middle school girls from the MESA Schools Program at O’Farrell Charter School spent the day at SDSU learning more about the field of engineering.  The day’s events included a visit to several student engineering projects led by MESA undergraduates:

  • Rocket Project: led by Jennifer Martin Velazquez, Aerospace Engineer major
  • SDSU Formula SAE Car: led by Natalie Robertson, Mechanical Engineering major
  • Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering – Prosthetic Skateboard Project: led by
  • Alberto Perez Jr., Mechanical Engineering major and Sonia Fisher, Computer Engineering major.

Students also experienced 3D Printing, Google Glass, Google Cardboard and 3D scanner stations, in partnership with SDSU’s buildIT Center, led by STEM Librarian Jenny Wong-Welch and her team.  And just as important, students had the opportunity to have an open discussion with a panel of female STEM undergraduates and professionals.

  • Iryna Dzieciuch – SPAWAR, SDSU Alumna
  • Daisy Galeana – Solar Turbines, SDSU Alumna
  • Rachel Shrum – SPAWAR, SDSU Alumna
  • Bianca Contreras Sanz – Mechanical Undergraduate
  • Jennifer Martin Velazquez – Aerospace Undergraduate
  • McKenzie Melcher – Aerospace Undergraduate

“If we are to bridge the gap and increase the number of females entering STEM fields, we must start early and we must provide living examples that can share their experience and provide guidance,” said SDSU MESA Program Director, Natasha Celise.

Since these young ladies are members of the MESA Schools Program at O’Farrell Charter School, they will continue to receive STEM awareness, work on STEM projects, compete in local and regional STEM competitions, and engage with STEM undergraduates and professionals. MESA promotes STEM success for more than 28,000 educationally disadvantaged secondary, community college and four-year college students in California. You can find MESA programs at San Diego County schools, Imperial Valley schools, San Diego City College, Southwestern College and San Diego State University. Together they make up, the San Diego MESA Alliance, a regional pipeline in STEM for educationally disadvantaged student populations.

For more information about the San Diego MESA Alliance visit

Published in MESA Activities Volunteer We Are STEM Day