In 2016, our team partnered with the Merced County Office of Education to provide a summer camp for children, especially to serve migrant families. We delivered eight weeks of workshops, including Arduino-based robotics and Ecology.
The mission of the Migrant Enrichment in Science and Technology (MESAT) program was to increase migrant student college attendance and success in school through providing fun and engaging STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) educational activities, empowering students with the resources they need to succeed in their futures.
It is difficult for many migrant students to succeed in school because they move frequently, many school programs are not designed to fulfill their unique needs, and education may not be a priority in their homes or communities. All of these factors can affect migrant students’ confidence in their ability to succeed in school, and ultimately their ability to get into college. To combat these problems, MESAT offered a free eight-week Saturday morning summer program with hands-on learning experiences for middle and high school students. This program was designed and taught by University of California graduate students at the UC Merced Campus and was meant to get students excited about learning and to give them experiences and tools that empower them to succeed in school. Our students were mostly children of migrant families, who may not usually have access to traditional extracurricular learning opportunities.
Our instructors and assistant instructors are a diverse group of UC Merced graduate and undergraduate students. Most instructors speak at least English and Spanish, and course materials are available in both languages (most of our lecture slides contain the same information in both languages side-by-side).