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MESA stops zombies

Published: Monday, February 27, 2012

Updated: Monday, February 27, 2012 13:02

In a competition where one of the objectives was to stop zombies, SAC excelled.

Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement, or MESA, members competed in the Texas A&M Regional Engineering Conference in College Station Feb. 11.

Two of three teams from this college placed second and third out of 22 teams.

Astronomy Professor Alfred Alaniz and 12 students from this college attended the conference.

Students of the Society of Women Engineers competed as well but did not place.

Three teams total represented this college.

Mexican American Engineers and Scientists Team 2 placed second and MAES Team 1 placed third. All three teams fall under the MESA umbrella.

MESA is a club that any STEM major can join to obtain tutoring or any type of help with schoolwork.

The University of Houston placed first.

In 2010, this college did not place, but in 2011, this college placed fourth. This college was the only two-year institution competing in the conference.

The Texas A&M Student Engineering Council invited each team in the competition.

Teams began their construction at 9 a.m. Feb. 11 at Zachary Engineering Center and received three tasks they had to complete by 1 p.m.

The theme of the competition was "Zombie Apocalypse."

The first task, titled Meteor Shower, required building a device that sheltered an egg from a tennis ball and a deflated basketball that were dropped from three separate heights. MAES Team 2 produced a shelter of a cut-up mousetrap, clothespins, popsicle sticks and duct tape and covered it with bubble wrap.

The second task, titled Zombie Attack, was to build a device that stopped zombies, who were A&M Texas students dressed as zombies walking, running and crawling toward the groups.

MAES Team 2's device consisted of a ruler, straw, pencil, latch from a mousetrap, duct tape and fired broken popsicle pieces.

The third task, titled Medicine Drop, was to construct a shelter to protect when the egg was catapulted.

Rafael Angdrita, bioengineering major, said, "We used all our remaining materials for this. We wrapped the egg in a plastic bag stuffed it with cotton balls and added straws, bubble wraps, ping pong balls, clothes pins, blown up balloons and a plastic bag."

Both MAES teams' guns stopped seven out of the 10 attacking zombies. The zombies were stopped whenever they were hit with a projectile from a gun.

Both teams that placed catapulted an egg more then 12 meters without breaking.

Ten teams could place, and each individual member received a prize.

First-place winners received an Amazon Kindle, second-place winners received a universal stereo that had iPod attachments and third place received Nerf guns.

Additional prizes of DVDs and posters were also distributed.

"It was a good chance to apply these principles that we've been learning," mathematics sophomore Carina Mata said. "It was a friendly competition with an interesting theme."

For more information about MESA, contact Adel Gutierrez at 210-486-1825.

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