Bechtel donates $15,000 to Yakima Valley/Tri-Cities MESA program

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RICHLAND — A $15,000 gift from Bechtel National Inc. to the Mathematics,
Engineering, Science Achievement program of Yakima Valley/Tri-Cities helped nearly 250 middle and high school students in Eastern Washington gain engineering experience at today’s MESA Day competition at Washington State University Tri-Cities.

The donation allowed about 60 teams of students from the Pasco, Granger and Sunnyside school districts to compete in challenges centered on the development and operation of prosthetic arms.

“With generous sponsorship and understanding of our mission for the future scientists, Bechtel once again made our MESA Day possible,” said Jorge Moreno, interim director and high school coordinator for YVTC MESA. “This experience provides more than 200 students something tangible that explains how their in-class learning translates to real-life STEM technology.”

The MESA program provides enriching educational opportunities that help build a pathway to college and careers in the science, technology, engineering and math fields for students who are currently underrepresented in those fields: African-American, Latino, Native American, Pacific Islander and female.

A global leader in the engineering and construction industry, Bechtel has a corporate commitment to programs, such as MESA, that inspire students to pursue careers in STEM fields. Former Bechtel president Stephen Bechtel Jr., helped mobilize corporate support for the national MESA program in 1978.

“Bechtel has a long history of supporting the MESA program,” said Bechtel’s Peggy McCullough, project director for the Waste Treatment Plant project. “This gift is an investment in the next generation of students who will lead the country in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math.”