The Pasadena Tournament of Roses has partnered with Cal Poly Rose Float on an engaging and educational program, RoseSTEM, presented by SoCalGas. The program, held June 13-15, includes field trips to the Cal Poly Rose Float facility where middle and high school students were introduced students to STEM concepts used to create a Rose Parade® presented by Honda float, including hands-on experience.
Cal Poly Rose Float, a group of college students, shared their expertise in float construction, design, and decoration. Cal Poly Pomona and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo have continuously participated in the parade since 1949, and their floats have led in introducing technology to the parade, including the first use of hydraulics for animation in 1968 and the first use of computer-controlled animation in 1978.
“Partnering with the Tournament of Roses allows our club to engage young students to understand how STEAM is used daily in designing, planning, and building our float each year. Cal Poly Universities Rose Float is a 76-year-old tradition that exemplifies the ‘Learn by Doing’ philosophy and emphasizes our student’s Career Readiness initiatives that prepare them to enter the workforce ready to work on day one,” shared Cary Khatab, Director of Cal Poly Rose Float.
During the sessions, Cal Poly Rose Float and representatives from SoCalGas brought their knowledge to the program. “It’s exciting to see students in the RoseSTEM Program put learning into practice by designing and creating a Rose Parade float, we couldn’t be more proud to support their efforts,” said Trisha Muse, Director of Community Relations at SoCalGas. “We’re going to need these bright students’ creativity, ingenuity, and hard work to tackle the challenges and create solutions toward a cleaner future.”
Over 150 students from the greater Pasadena area participated thanks to the support of community partners; Adelante Youth Alliance, STEAM:CODERS, Day One, and Stars.
“The RoseSTEM program provides our students with a safe space to explore their curiosities while learning how STEM concepts are actualized in real-world situations. This program aligns with our mission to inspire and educate youth with the examples of ingenuity, collaboration, and leadership shared by the diverse students of the Cal Poly Pomona Rose Float Lab,” Melissa Estrada, Executive Director of Adelante Youth Alliance, said. “The RoseSTEM program promotes a college-going culture and increases interest in pursuing STEM. Bringing students together for this experience builds a sense of community with encouragement to design, construct and decorate their futures with passion!”
Raymond Ealy, Founder/Executive Director of STEAM:CODERS, added, “STEAM:CODERS is extremely excited to have joined forces with the Pasadena Tournament of Roses, SoCalGas, and Cal Poly Pomona [Rose Float Club], offering students an opportunity to learn about the engineering behind a parade float. Forty middle and high school students from the Pasadena area participated in this RoseSTEM event. Students were introduced to STEM concepts used to create a Rose Parade® float. We are very fortunate to have outstanding partners.”
Christy Zamani, Executive Director of Day One, shared, “The most pressing challenges in our world- from climate change to health require problem-solving skills rooted in STEM. Opportunities like the Rose STEM program allow youth to see beyond the initial fear of what it takes to be good at Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. Their openness to entering STEM careers is crucial to our future existence.”
The Tournament of Roses is a long-standing supporter of regional and national education initiatives through partnerships with local school districts, statewide institutions, universities, and corporate sponsors. By supporting students and teachers, they provide needed resources and valuable opportunities for educational growth.