The Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) program is a national organization that seeks to level the playing field for K-12 students of color, with a strong emphasis on girls. Colorado MESA (CMESA) provides support for the many branches of the organization in Colorado. PISEC chose the St. Vrain MESA Program (Longmont) over the Boulder Valley program because the Boulder area is saturated with university participation, whereas just a few miles away, students are largely neglected. The MESA program serves to build partnerships between K-12 after school programs and university organizations by arranging space to meet, advisors to help supervise, and parental support.
Casa de la Esperanza
Casa de la Esperanza (House of Hope) is a housing project in Longmont, Colorado, consisting of primarily Mexican residents. Casa runs a large number of programs for the children and parents ranging from English to computer skills to life skills. Through the St. Vrain MESA Program, PISEC has conducted science programs since early 2007 for Casa's middle school children at the community center run by Ms. Carlota Loya-Hernandez, who has been instrumental in communicating the importance of the program to the parents.
Spangler Elementary School
The population at Spangler Elementary School, located in north Longmont, Colorado, is primarily Hispanic, with most of the students qualifying for free or reduced lunch. Through the St. Vrain MESA Program, PISEC has worked with fourth and fifth grade students at Spangler since early 2008.
Rocky Mountain Elementary School
The population at Rocky Mountain Elementary School, located in south Longmont, Colorado, is primarily Hispanic, with most of the students qualifying for free or reduced lunch. Through the St. Vrain MESA Program, PISEC will be adding this school to our program as of Fall 2009.
Boulder Charter Prep High School is an alternative educational track for at-risk youth. Small classes (8-15 students) and 8 week terms have been very successful for this school, which requires acceptance to college as a criterion for graduation. Because Boulder Prep is a charter school, PISEC is able to conduct science activities in the classroom since 2006.