Advocate for STEM Education, Equity, and Access in Maryland.
Contribute to a competitive global workforce by increasing the yield and diversity of STEM graduates in Maryland.
Established at APL in 1976 with just two schools in Baltimore City, Maryland MESA today has more than 100 participating schools throughout the state.
As a structured, afterschool, precollege program designed to prepare students for academic and professional careers in a STEM field, Maryland MESA seeks to:
To provide a superior education process that enables Maryland students to achieve their full potential, we:
Since its inception, Maryland MESA has served more than 24,000 Maryland students.
Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) is an academic preparation program for pre-college, community college, and university-level students. Established in 1970 in California, the program provides academic support to students from educationally disadvantaged backgrounds throughout the education pathway so they will excel in math and science and ultimately attain four-year degrees in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) fields. The program has successfully been replicated in over a dozen other states.
MESA has established an active partnership with industry and STEM leaders such as AT&T, Chevron, Google, HP, Sempra Energy, and PG&E. These partners supply expertise, volunteers, and internship opportunities. The strong relationship with industry has resulted in MESA incorporating many elements of industry culture into its approaches and activities.
MESA has been named among the top five most innovative public programs in the nation by Innovations in American Government, an initiative of the Ford Foundation, the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and the Council for Excellence in Government. MESA is also a past winner of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring.
Maryland MESA educators, tutors, mentors, and advisors come from a wide variety of backgrounds and professions—many of whom are volunteers. For example, MESA Day Competitions could not occur without volunteers.
In addition to the APL administrative staff, schools that sponsor MESA afterschool programs provide teachers and administrators.
APL and other organizations also recruit mentors from their staff of scientists, mathematicians, engineers, and anyone who wants to volunteer their time to guide students on their projects, give them insights into the life and work of a STEM professional, and advise them on their STEM education path.
MESA counselors offer students weekly meetings, including:
Maryland MESA sponsors field experiences that:
Maryland MESA advisors partner with professional engineers, college students, and parents to tutor, mentor, and advise students about:
The APL STEM Program Office sponsors:
Maryland MESA educators and mentors work with students to strengthen skills in how to:
Maryland MESA provides teachers and advisors with professional development opportunities through workshops during the summer and throughout the academic year. MESA teachers can:
Dwight has been with APL since 2003 in technical roles as project manager, lead engineer, and electrical engineer. He holds a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University in electrical and computer engineering and a bachelor’s degree in biology from Howard University. Dwight began his career as a molecular biologist, gaining expertise as a research fellow at the National Institutes of Health and leading the reagent-manufacturing effort at Gene Logic Genomics, Inc. At APL, Dwight applied his knowledge in science and engineering to develop and test biosensors to help ensure America’s national security after 9/11. He also served as project manager for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)-funded, APL led Revolutionizing Prosthetics Program. Since the early 1990s, Dwight has served as a volunteer for Big Brothers and Sisters, the Boy Scouts of America, Maryland MESA, and FIRST Robotics. Dwight’s interest in STEM education became increasingly important to him as he and his wife started a family and his children entered school.
In 2010, APL recognized that the United States was facing a critical challenge: replacing the aging STEM workforce. Soon thereafter, APL proposed the creation of a new STEM program management office and Dwight was selected to lead it. Dwight was tasked with transforming a number of incubator outreach programs into a portfolio of robust and highly effective programs. Dwight applied his expertise leading large-scale technical projects to develop a strategy for maturing and managing those programs.
Dwight leverages APL’s affiliation with the Johns Hopkins University as well as its relationships with government, industry, and academia to offer unique learning experiences and opportunities to K12 students.
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