The Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement Schools Program at California State University, Fresno has received a $34,000 Innovation Generation Grant from the Motorola Foundation to help fund its MESA Saturday Academies.

The Fresno State MESA hosts four Saturday Academies throughout the 2007-08 academic year. The second of the year will be Saturday, Nov. 17, from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., when 380 middle school and high school students from throughout Central California will come to campus. The two remaining sessions will be held Feb. 9 and Feb. 23.

The MESA Saturday Academies focus on math and science hands-on projects to encourage the local youngsters to explore careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), said Louie Lopez, director of Fresno State’s MESA.

“The students attend workshops on college and career exploration designed to help them with their pathway to higher education,” Lopez said.

The MESA Schools Program is a pre-college program whose primary goal is to motivate and prepare disadvantaged students, especially those from underserved populations, with the knowledge and skills that will enhance their interest and prepare them for professions requiring degrees in engineering, and other mathematics and science-based fields. Fresno State’s program began in 1980.

The Motorola support will provide lunch and a wide array of hands-on projects for the students, including rocketry, robotics, circuitry, solar energy and other STEM-related projects, Lopez said.

The new funding comes from The Motorola Foundation’s $3.5 million Innovation Generation Grants and is among 106 breakthrough programs nationally using innovative approaches to develop interest in technology-related fields while strengthening leadership and problem-solving skills. The grants target programs that encourage girls and ethnic groups currently underrepresented in technology fields.

“With Motorola’s Innovation Generation Grant, we will be able to offer young people in our community the educational foundation to change tomorrow’s technology landscape,” Lopez said. “We are making an investment in our students and our community, and we look forward to advancing our mission with partners like Motorola.”

Eileen Sweeney, director of Motorola Foundation in Schaumburg, Ill, said Motorola’s partnership with Fresno State MESA helps extend the foundation’s mission of igniting a passion for science and math in students.

“Our Innovation Generation Grant program helps children make the connection between the cool technology they enjoy every day and the educational foundation they will need to invent the next great thing,” Sweeney said.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs requiring science, engineering, or technical training will increase 24 percent to 6.3 million between 2004 and 2014, creating greater demand for critical thinkers fluent in technology.

“Through the MESA Academies, students will be exposed to various math, science, technology and engineering hands-on projects as well as college exploration presentations so that they are able to link concepts from these subjects to real world applications, and engage in planning a pathway for higher education pursuit in those disciplines,” Lopez said.

For more information please contact Lopez at 559.278.2976 or

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MESA Academy Middle School Schedule

MESA Academy High School Schedule