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K-12 Initiatives

PLTW and MESA logosSDSU’s College of Engineering is committed to addressing the critical shortage of engineers in the 21st century workforce.

Key programs directed toward students in middle and high schools focus on instilling core skills and creating an excitement for the engineering profession.  These hand-on programs enable students to explore the engineering profession early, and to acquire the important academic skills that are critical for success in the baccalaureate program.

PLTW logo - Project Lead The Way

Project Lead the Way has developed an excellent pre-engineering curriculum and partners with local school districts to delivered this curriculum in over 4,300 middle and high schools nation-wide. PLTW specializes in training middle and high school teachers to successfully deliver this hands-on curriculum through summer teacher training institutes.

Group of people working on computers

PLTW is a signature project for SDSU’s College of Engineering, funded in large part through the QUALCOMM Institute for Innovation and Educational Success.  SDSU is the State of California Affiliated University for Project Lead the Way and has spearheaded the growth of PLTW, whose curriculum is now offered in 252 middle and high schools throughout California.  SDSU oversees training programs for PLTW teachers at three training sites in California, and has trained over 530 middle and high school teachers from all over the country here in San Diego.    Learn more about PLTW

MESA logo
The SDSU College of Engineering’s MESA Schools Programs (MSP) works with local middle schools and high schools to provide and promote after-school pre-engineering activities and class period electives.  It is a collaborative effort with MESA California and the University of California’s Office of the President.  

MESA students testing the load on their bridge project

The program’s goal is to encourage students to pursue educational careers in engineering, math and science through fun, hands-on projects and other college awareness activities that promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) college and career pathways. To the extent possible by California law, MESA emphasizes participation by students from groups with low eligibility rates for four-year institutions and targets schools in areas that are typically under-funded.

The MSP program serves students in both San Diego and Imperial Counties.  It is one of the largest MSP programs in the Southern California region serving over 1,500 students.  The Imperial Valley MSP provides service to over 700 students at 20 schools and the San Diego program serves 850 students at 20 different schools.

  • Individual Academic Plans.
  • SAT/PSAT preparation and study skills training.
  • MESA Day Academies offering hands-on math, engineering, and science competitions.
  • Career and College Exploration.
  • Parent Leadership Development.
  • Teacher Training Opportunities.
  • Robotics competitions and activities.
  • Mentoring Activities.
  • Leadership Conferences. 

Learn more about MESA


Design Day 2014

Design Day 2014

Thanks for joining us at our annual College of Engineering Design Day! View photos of the event.

Project Lead the Way 2014

Cracking Eggs and Sorting Marbles

San Diego State hosted 120 teachers for Project Lead the Way - it's largest class yet.

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Zahn Innovation Center

Apply to the $50K Zahn Challenge for SDSU students, faculty and staff with an idea for a commercial enterprise, social enterprise or project resulting in a social impact.

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