What is Mesa?

Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) is a low-cost program designed to increase access to Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) pathways and encourage college readiness for low-income, minority or first-generation college-bound students in grades 6-12.  Students involved in MESA experience:

  • Active Learning – students learn and implement the MESA Engineering Design Process through numerous highly-engaging, relevant, hands-on activities in which their experience of project-based learning, while supported by the teacher, is driven mainly by student teams. Such learning reinforces Common Core and NGSS practices like:
    • Collaborative problem solving
    • Building and testing of prototypes
    • Collecting and analyzing data
    • Consideration of design variables
    • Communicating design choices
    • Visual models, both hand drawn and computer-aided
  • Exposure to STEM – through college and career mentors and university campus events.
    • Mentoring –students meet and learn from university students and STEM professionals who can share their experiences and strategies on pursuing a STEM major and career.
    • Campus Events – students explore unique STEM fields/majors like computer engineering, civil engineering, and aerospace and mechanical engineering while connecting with undergraduate and graduate students.
    • Competition – MESA USA hosts a nationwide competition for MESA students and their supporters. This year, the National Competition is in Arizona and is entitled Arduino Based Solutions for Humans.
  • College Readiness – Rocky Mountain MESA students have the opportunity to meet and work with peers at institutions of higher education, as well as professors and scientist researchers.
  • Peer Support – by supporting the development of college-minded peer groups that support and encourage each other throughout the K-16 pipeline.

Want to know more about our current outreach efforts? View our slides below!


Read more in the link below about the history of MESA in Colorado:

RM MESA History


Spring 2021 Events:


MESA Days Competition 2021: April 13-15, 2021

Virtual via Zoom

Registration will be Available February 1, 2021. Deadline is March 22, 2021 at 10 AM.


NM MESA State Competition 2021: April 20-22, 2021 

Registration will be Available February 1, 2021. Deadline is March 22, 2021 at 10 AM.


MESA National Competition 

June 2021

Details to come…


Our Staff

Cynthia Howell

Cynthia Howell

Director, Rocky Mountain MESA

Dr. Danielle Ladd

Dr. Danielle Ladd

Dr. Danielle Ladd holds a PhD in chemistry as well as a MA in Education and Human Development with a focus on teaching in diverse contexts. Her commitment to supporting and mentoring underrepresented populations in STEM led her to the high school chemistry and physics classroom where she has worked with first-generation, bilingual, and socioeconomically disadvantaged students for the past 6 years. She is actively partnered with the Colorado School of Mines and the Critical Materials Institute to bring innovative and cross-cutting activities and labs into K-14 classrooms.

Danielle joined Rocky Mountain MESA in the spring of 2020 as a MESA Advisor.  She is leading curriculum development and planning, website review and will help deliver the RM MESA “Kick-off” for teachers this fall.

Allison Lim

Allison Lim

Allison Lim is a fourth year Materials Science PhD candidate at Mines developing plastics for radiation detection. As much as she likes polymer chemistry and nuclear radiation, she also  enjoys working with the next generation of students, helping them cultivate excitement and curiosity about STEM and the world. During her B.S. at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, CA, Allison served as the President of Science Bus, a student run organization designing and teaching weekly hands-on lessons in low-income elementary schools.

Allison joined RM MESA in the spring of 2020 as a graduate student Mentor to Manual High  School.  She is leading the deployment of mentor training.  She is assisting in  curriculum review and development and website revision.