College of Engineering’s Robot Rally to Roll Into Campus

Elementary school students celebrate a win at the Robot Rally.

The College of Engineering will hold its largest outreach event, the annual Robot Rally, on Friday, May 8, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Darlene May Gym.

In its ninth year, the Robot Rally invites over 800 students from 20 participating schools, eight school districts and after-school programs to show off their robotic creations.

Competing students have spent the last six months learning computer programming, designing their robots and testing them with the help of Cal Poly Pomona engineering faculty, who visited  the schools to instruct the teachers and students about the basics of robotics. The robots will be put to the test in sumo, obstacle, fast line and teamwork challenges.

The Robot Rally is designed to expose students to robotics, a multidisciplinary field that combines mechanical, electrical, electronic engineering and computer science. By involving them in a hands-on, highly practical learning experience, the event  encourages students to pursue a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) career.

“The College of Engineering hosts the largest K-12 robotics outreach program in the nation and we’re very proud of that,” says Engineering Professor Jawaharlal “Jawa” Mariappan, the organizer of the event.

Sponsors of the Robot Rally include Time Warner Cable and LEGO.

For information about the Robot Rally, visit