A team from Century High School took second place in one category in a national engineering design competition held in Portland late last month.

Teams from high schools across the country were pitted against each other in a competition sponsored by MESA (mathematics, engineering, science and achievement) USA. Their assignment was to design prototypical low-cost prosthetic arms for young amputees in developing countries. Century’s team finished second in the object relocation challenge, where teams used their prosthetic arms to move objects of various weights and sizes from a table to a crate.

The overall winners were Mountain Range High School in Colorado and Markham Middle School in California.

MESA USA engages under-served middle and high school students through weekly in-school and afterschool programs where they form teams that work together to develop inventions. The program’s goal is to develop students’ skills through a type of STEM (science, technology, education, math) instruction known as “invention education,” which emphasizes learning by doing.

Last week’s competition was hosted by the Oregon chapter of MESA USA and sponsored by Intel and the Lemelson Foundation, which uses the power of invention to improve lives.

“Intel knows that young people are the key to solving global challenges. A solid STEM foundation — coupled with skills such as critical thinking, collaboration and problem solving — are crucial for success and are made accessible through programs like MESA,” said Jill Eiland, Intel’s northwest region corporate affairs manager.

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