Design Challenges

"There’s nothing I believe in more strongly than getting young people interested in science and engineering, for a better tomorrow, for all humankind.” ― Bill Nye

The MESA Program is built around our design challenges. Every year Arizona MESA works to provide 9 Engineering Design Challenges developed to provide students opportunities to:

  • Learn and Implement the Engineering Design Process

  • Gain exposure to new areas of STEM like Human Centered Design, Renewable Energy, Computer Science, Additive Manufacturing, Mechanical Engineering, and Civil Engineering.

  • Develop 21st Century skills in critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and communication


MESA Day is our annual statewide competition. Middle and high schools enrolled in MESA will bring teams to present their design in response to the nine engineering design challenges (listed below) provided by Arizona MESA. Individual awards are presented to teams place first through sixth place in each of the design challenges and trophies are presented to the schools that place first through third overall.

MESA Day Page Design Challenges

Regional Design Days

MESA Regional Design Days are the first of our events for students enrolled in MESA who have been working on this year's design challenges. This event will help students prepare for the statewide competition, MESA Day, by providing them an opportunity to test their designs, gather data, and recieve feedback from our volunteer judges.

Regional Design Days Page

National Engineering Design Competition

The 2019-2020 National Engineering Design Competition, Arduino Based Solutions for Humans, asks students to implement the Human-Centered Design approach to find a client in their community who has a need, engineer a solution for this need using Arduino as the key component, and present their solution and recommendation(s) for next steps at the MESA USA National Engineering Design Competition. This high level design challenge is our most rigorous challenge and state champions are able to showcase their design at the MESA National Engineering Design Competition (NEDC). The 2020 NEDC will be held in June in Arizona.

National Engineering Design Competition