A Los Banos Junior High School team’s prosthetic arm grasped the overall second place during a national engineering design competition in Utah last weekend.
The team of eighth-graders Daniel Baerwaldt and Ernesto Castro and seventh-graders Erick Lara and Carol Garcia used the more than 12 hours of travel time to prepare for the Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement National Engineering Design Competition, which was held in Ogden, Utah.
The competition saw the team write papers, put up a display board, prepare oral presentations and perform their task, competing against teams from across the country.
The task for the California state MESA champions was building a prosthetic arm to place and relocate objects, and throw bean bags to targeted areas.
The students took first place on the technical paper and oral presentation, adviser Valentina Mascorro said in an email.
The team also earned third place on the accuracy-performance task and third place on efficiency.
During testing on the object-relocation task, the team’s prosthetic arm broke. But the team quickly fixed it and earned second place on that task.
The four students previously won the state championship on May 14 and took third place in the regional competition on April 9.
“The best part is that they are already forming their teams for next year and are very excited and hoping to make it to Philadelphia, where next year’s MESA national competition will be held,” Mascorro said.