|Woodlawn’s winning team|
Once a week throughout the school year, the members of Woodlawn High School’s new MESA (Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement) Club have gathered after school to design, build, and test model wooden bridges. On Saturday, February 19, 2005, at the Maryland Wood Bridge Competition, their bridges – made of nothing more than basswood and glue – stood the biggest test of all – and won.
Their first time in the competition Woodlawn MESA Club members captured four of the top seven positions out of a field of 59 entrants from 13 schools throughout the state. Staci R. placed fourth (with 861 points), William J. placed fifth (with 840 points), Faron M. placed sixth (with 734 points), and Mya J. placed seventh (with 696 points). Overall, the club was awarded second place in the region and received a plaque and a copy of Illustrating Famous Bridges from Around the World. Held at the Baltimore Museum of Industry, the Bridge Building Competition is sponsored and coordinated by the Maryland Society of Professional Engineers and the American Society of Civil Engineers.
“We are so proud of the team,” says William M. May, club coach and a technology teacher at Woodlawn High. “During their meetings, the club members studied bridges, learned about what works and what doesn’t work, but even more important they learned a lot about how to work as a team and about the personal discipline needed to prepare for competition.”
Woodlawn’s MESA Club is part of Maryland MESA, a pre-college program affiliated with The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory and designed to increase the number of students prepared for the rigor of university study in mathematics-related fields. MESA students participate in meetings and Saturday/summer institutes, hear from guest speakers, receive academic tutorials and computer instruction, compete in science/mathematics fairs, benefit from career counseling, and take field trips. In addition to Woodlawn High, other Baltimore County schools participating in MESA include:
Western School of Technology
Woodlawn’s MESA Club members are participants in the school’s math, science, pre-engineering, and student-conducted research magnet program. This magnet program provides students with highly competitive college preparatory curriculum in grades 9 – 12. Students take accelerated and enriched mathematics and science coursework. Students have the opportunity to earn college credit through Advanced Placement courses and as special students enrolled in “Distance Learning” college courses during their junior and senior years. Junior students also work with mentors who are professionals in research or engineering.
Story by Diana Spencer, Communications