Last March, several students and faculty members were spotted scaling the sides of buildings on the College of the Canyons campus attached to string-like supports. This is not a common sight at the college campus, but internal reports reveal that these annual web-spinners will return on March 12 this year to reprise the feat.
No, the campus hasn’t entered the world of super-heroes or the super-natural, but there are certainly some different activities going on here. At the heart of this strange phenomenon is the Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) program. From 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Saturday, March 12 is MESA’s annual Leadership Retreat – a highlight of the program’s academic year. Each year, as part of the retreat, students in the program learn about the concept of strengths and the principles of strengths-based achievement, creative use of resources and diversity awareness.
The day’s activities include sessions exploring the field of robotics within engineering as they construct miniature autonomous robots equipped with sound sensors, infrared detectors
and other micro-technology. A biotechnology session will allow students to analyze a sample of “mystery” DNA to identify its source and solve a crime.
The high point of the day, however, is an afternoon session that is a lesson in cultivating trust in others and in the mastery of fear, as students and faculty alike swing out into thin air from the third story of one of the tallest buildings on campus — the “I” building — and rappel to the ground. Chances are everyone who participates will develop a new appreciation for at least one super-hero and will help them in identifying their strengths as individuals and as members of a team. Activities and workshops will promote scholarship, leadership and the pursuit of academic