Here is an update from Los Angeles Basin Section Newsletter:

LASPE did itself proud at the Middle School MESA Day, with our volunteers performing as science project competition judges, math test proctors, and giving presentations to students and teachers. Pictures tell the story, and all of our volunteers had a wonderful time, lots of fun, and at the end of the day, knew we did a great job that made MESA Day a success.

We had over 520 excited and determined middle school students from the Long Beach, Artesia, Bellflower, Cerritos, Paramount, and Wilmington areas. Their science projects ranged from Mousetrap- powered cars, Windmills, Gliders, Bridges, Models and Posters about the Human Eye, and a new pilot project building Prosthetic Hands. We were amazed at what these students could design and build, as some of the rules were up to 25 pages long, and rules were strictly enforced.

Four of our LASPE members are MESA Alumni: Vanessa Perez (CA State Lands Commission), Uduak Ntuk (City of Long Beach Gas and Oil Dept), and Estuardo Iriarte and Miguel Cabrera (Occidental Petroleum). They conducted several Engineering Panel Sessions to talk to students about their similar hardship backgrounds, how they became engineers and geologists, and what they do at their jobs.

Wanjiru Njuguna, a geologist for Oxy, demonstrated 3-D geologic modeling and answered student questions on faulting, rocks, fossils, and even shale oil. She learned that one student gave a competitive speech that morning on fracking shale oils, and that student had good questions to ask.

Great job, LASPE, on these great accomplishments!