Rhode Island MESA (Math, Engineering, Science Achievement) is an exciting and engaging school-based program for middle and high school students designed to spark their interest in STEM education and STEM careers, including STEM teaching.

The program seeks to:

  • increase the number of engineers, scientists, mathematicians, and related professionals at technical and management levels, as well as STEM teachers, and
  • encourage and assist underrepresented students in achieving success in these fields.


Although competition is one of the main components, RIMESA is more than just a competition. It is more than a short introduction to a STEM topic, more than a homework club, more than just a robotics or coding challenge. Through participation in MESA, students have the opportunity to develop leadership skills, boost their achievement, and gain greater confidence in their ability to compete professionally and return their gifts and talents to their communities. A fully developed MESA club or course provides a deep, holistic experience for students; they do not simply focus on the competition. The MESA club meeting is a thriving beehive of STEM-related activities and experiences.

Rhode Island MESA (RIMESA) is hosted by The Alan Shawn Feinstein College of Education at the URI Providence campus since June 2021. 

Through project-based team design competitions, students experience engineering, coding, science, and many more STEM disciplines while developing strong communication and collaboration skills. RIMESA emphasizes Invention Education, Equity, and Social Justice in all facets of its work with schools.

MESA students see the real-world applications of what they are learning in school, develop the STEM skills they will need in the future, and begin to see themselves in STEM careers.

RIMESA joins ten other MESA USA programs, serving over 49,000 students annually.

The Rhode Island MESA model comprises the following seven components:

  • Structured MESA club meetings
  • Coding instruction
  • Communication skills development
  • Academic support, tutoring, mentoring, and counseling to promote college and career readiness
  • Career exploration, including internships with STEM related community organizations and businesses
  • Field trips and URI RIMESA activity days
  • MESA competitions at the state level and national level.

These seven components of the Rhode Island MESA program include deep, meaningful experiences that provide an avenue for students to:

  • develop an interest in and explore STEM-related careers, including STEM teaching;
  • build content knowledge and skills;
  • develop and practice soft skills necessary for success in college and the workforce (for example, project planning, oral communication, writing, collaboration with others);
  • build grit—the passion and perseverance needed to complete a STEM degree and enter a STEM career; and
  • instill pride in their community and foster the value of returning their skills and talents to the betterment of their community.

Learn more about MESA USA:

Follow us on Social Media: