MESA teams from Hanson and Lackey compete at nationals

MESA teams from Hanson and Lackey compete at nationals

Two Charles County Public Schools Mathematics, Engineering and Science Achievement (MESA) teams earned top honors at the MESA USA National Engineering Design Competition held June 20-22 in Portland, Oregon. A team from Henry E. Lackey High School received third place overall among competing teams at the high school level, and a John Hanson Middle School team received fourth place overall at the middle school level.

The national competition was split into two performance levels – middle school and high school. The event featured the Prosthetic Arm design challenge in which teams were required to build a low-cost prosthetic arm and use it to complete several performance tasks. Teams were judged in several areas during the competition including the technical paper category, oral presentation, technical display, distance accuracy relay, object relocation, dexterity and design efficiency.  Additionally, overall winners are selected for scoring the most points in all judged areas.

Students on the Lackey team are seniors Shade Jenifer and Christian Warren, and recent 2014 graduates George Jenkins and Cody Rogers. Team advisors are Lackey mathematics teachers John Crawford and Jonathan Liston.

The Hanson team also earned first place among competing middle school teams in the oral presentation portion of the competition and third place in the technical display category. Students on the Hanson team are eighth graders Stephen Duranske, Shane Gregan and Megan Thomas, and Brett Blandford, who will be a freshman at St. Mary’s Ryken High School in the fall. The team coach is Michael Duranske and the advisor is Diane Fisher, a science teacher at Hanson. This is the second year that Hanson has competed at the national level.

Both teams qualified for the national competition for earning first place in the Prosthetic Arm design challenge at the state MESA event. MESA is designed to prepare students for academic and professional careers in mathematics, engineering, science, and technology. The program’s goals are to increase the number of engineers, scientists, mathematicians, and related professionals at technical and management levels; and to serve as a driving force in encouraging and assisting minorities and females in achieving success in these fields.

For more information on MESA, visit

Charles County Public Schools provides 26,400 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 35 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Pamela K. Murphy, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,802 other subscribers