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GHS MESA students special guests at Seahawks game

Isaac Dean at Seahawks game. It’s not every day that you’re a featured guest at a professional sporting event. But during Winter Break 50 students from throughout Washington, including two from Grandview High School, did just that.

GHS students Isabella Arriaga and Isaac Dean, along with teacher Brad Urquhart, attended the Seattle Seahawks game against the Arizona Cardinals on Dec. 30. The students were there as part of the Legion of Youth Powered by Boeing – a Seahawks gameday ticket experience for community organizations that serve youth throughout the Northwest. On Dec. 30, all of the students who attended were members of their local MESA organization. MESA stands for Mathematics, Engineering and Science Achievement.

Grandview is a member of the First Nations MESA, based out of Heritage University. Other members of the First Nations MESA are Wapato Middle School, Yakama Tribal High School and Union Gap School. At GHS, MESA is an extracurricular activity. Urquhart, the MESA advisor, said every year his students participate in MESA competitions. The regional competition is held at Heritage University and students who qualify go on to the state competition held on the Microsoft campus in Redmond.

When MESA was selected as one of the Legion of Youth organizations that would be recognized during a Seahawks game this season, each of the MESA groups across the state were allocated a certain number of tickets to the attend the special game. In the First Nations MESA each school was given three tickets, so two students and their advisor could attend.

Urquhart said it was easy to select which students would attend. This is Dean’s second year as part of the group. He made it to state last year and got to visit Microsoft. For Arriaga, this is her first year, but she’s already putting a lot of effort into the group.

Urquhart said MESA competitions typically offer students a problem, then the students have to find a way to use science and technology to find a solution. For example, last year the problem presented to students at the regional competition was to find an innovative way to help the blind safely navigate the world. Urquhart said his students used an Arduino board as the basis for a vest that would vibrate whenever it came within so many inches of another object. The vest would allow blind people to navigate the world without using a cane.

Once the students got the football game, Urquhart had another decision to make. The Seahawks wanted to recognize one student from each school. Photos of the featured students can be found on the Seattle Seahawks website. Grandview’s spotlight student is Dean. Click this link to find Dean.