Photo courtesy of Peoria Unified School District

Peoria High School students in the Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement (MESA) program recently participated in the 2024 Arizona MESA Day competition held at the University of Arizona. The Peoria High MESA team competed in eight challenges and won first place in the state, securing the title as 2024 state champions.

Each member of the Peoria High team brought home medals or ribbons for placing in their events. Four students received first place in the National Engineering Design Competition. Corona Annala, Magdalena Annala, Leah Bucher, and Evan Lyda will go on to the MESA USA National Competition in San Diego in June, representing Arizona. This marks the 15th state championship for the Peoria High MESA program out of 32 years of competing and is the fourth time in the team’s history to qualify for nationals.

MESA is a STEM program offered at Peoria High School which promotes interest in STEM careers for under-represented minorities in the field. Each year, students research and design projects to meet the challenges related to something that will help improve our society. Students attend the MESA Day event to test and defend their projects.

The students who participate in the Peoria High School MESA Program work with an advisor, David Hill, at least once per week, focusing on science-related design projects.

“I can’t express how proud we are of their hard work this semester, their performance and the rewards they achieved,” says Hill.