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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

MESA team second at nationals

From left, DeAndra Kenoly of North Central, Jennifer McGlothen, Lewis and Clark, and D.J. May, NC, present their design of a mousetrap-powered multipurpose vehicle at a Washington MESA Board meeting. The design took second place at the National Engineering Design Competition in June. 
 (Kandis Carper / The Spokesman-Review)

Instead of building a better mousetrap, area students built a better mousetrap-powered car.

Spokane’s MESA (Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement) team designed, built and improved a multipurpose vehicle powered by just that – a single mousetrap.

The team, DeAndra Kenoly and D.J. May, juniors at North Central High School and Jennifer McGlothen, a junior from Lewis and Clark, took first place in Washington state and placed second in the MESA USA National Engineering Design competition held in June in Albuquerque, N.M.

According to Kirk Reinkens, MESA high school coordinator, the students spent about seven Saturdays, beginning in March, preparing for the state competition.

Following the state competition, the team tweaked some elements of the design to perk up their vehicle. The new improved model was lighter and faster. A certain amount of frustration came with testing and retesting their product.

The team scored points in vehicle performance, technical paper, academic display and oral presentation. The vehicle’s performance was evaluated on speed, power and accuracy.

The team presented their multipurpose vehicle to the Washington MESA board and staff at a meeting held last week.

Spokane Public Schools Superintendent Brian Benzel, present at the meeting, said that while competition is great in sports, he was pleased to see the cooperation of students from two high schools working together on the academic project, and would encourage more of that.

To sum up what the team learned working on the project, Jennifer McGlothen said, “We learned we want to go to California next year (for the national competition), and we learned that team work is a big part of it.”

G-Prep student honored

Elizabeth Allen, a senior at Gonzaga Prep was this year’s recipient of the Ignatian Service Award on Sept. 7.

Elizabeth is the daughter of Brian and Sue Ellen Allen, Spokane Valley.

The award honors students who best represent the Ignatian spirit of community service and being a “person for others.”

Neil Kempen, director of community service at G-Prep, nominated Allen for this award. He stated, “Having come as a junior, Elizabeth is a fine addition to Gonzaga Prep. She has dedicated much of her life to helping others. Her generosity and willingness to help others is an inspiration to all.”

Some of her accomplishments include: 100 hours teaching and refining soccer skills with young girls; assistant soccer coach, 360 hours teaching children swimming, 280 hours serving as a junior camp counselor, hospital volunteer, altar server, assistant volleyball coach and many more community service hours.