The College of Engineering’s premier outreach event, the annual Robot Rally, will draw more than 800 elementary students from 17 local schools to the Engineering Meadow on Friday, May 9, for a competition that is the largest of its kind in the country.
For six months the students have been designing and building robot gladiators that will compete against each other in challenges like sumo wrestling, obstacle courses, and the ability to follow a line accurately. Starting with nothing more than a box of Legos and a computer module, the students plan and test each feature of their robot, and program it to complete basic tasks.
If it sounds fun, well, it is, and that’s the point. Organizers hope that by making science and engineering fun, they will encourage youngsters to consider careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.
The program also aims to help local educators become more familiar and comfortable with teaching STEM topics to their students. Each year, teachers visit Cal Poly Pomona for a hands-on course taught by engineering faculty before returning to their schools to begin the robotics program.
The Robot Rally will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. For more information about the rally, visit https://www.cpp.edu/~engineering/REAL/REAL.shtml.