Young scholars across the country participate in engineering-based competition

Paul Kurtz
June 20, 2018 - 3:58 pm

Paul Kurtz | KYW Newsradio


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Temple University's College of Engineering is playing host this week to a national Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) competition. 

Dozens of middle and high school students from eight states are participating.  
Three 10th-graders traveled all the way from Chiawana High School in Washington state to Temple University to show off their B-SAFE prototype, a sensor-packed device that warns riders when danger approaches.  

It's also considerably cheaper, said team member Ali Cortez.

"There are smart bikes out there, but they're like $2,000 to $5,000 and they don't really focus that much on safety," she explained. "With ours, it's only about $200 to manufacture it and it can attach on to any bike."

Paul Kurtz | KYW Newsradio

The students in this competition are required to use the open source electronics platform, known as Arduino. MESA technical coordinator Gina Vloise said the goal is not only to encourage invention and innovation, but to develop skills that can be used in all walks of life.

"This is solving problems. These are solving issues," she said. "This is to get you in the mindset of, 'How do I solve this quickly, efficiently, effectively and cost effectively?' "

A winner will be named from the weeklong contest on Friday.