Cal Poly Rose Float won the entertainment award at the 133rd New Year’s Day Rose Parade Celebration in Pasadena, CA.

It’s the first time the team has received the award since 1984, according to Cal Poly. Press release.

Cal Poly President Jeffery Armstrong, who attended this year’s parade, said the float is an example of learning-by-doing in action and an inspiration to those who see it.

“Students from our six colleges come together to brainstorm ideas and then complete engineering challenges to bring the tank to life, all topped with an artist’s palette of colorful flowers,” Armstrong said in the statement. Press.

This team is a joint effort between Cal Poly Pomona and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo universities to ride in a student-designed float in the annual parade. Since joining the parade in 1949, this combined effort has seen the team win 61 different awards.

More than 80 students from both universities worked to complete the float during the COVID-19 pandemic and last year’s parade hiatus, according to the news release.

Regina Chapuis, president of Cal Poly Rose Float and head of computer engineering, said this was the first time the floating student leaders who started the project had to hand it over to a new group of student leaders.

Chapuis has been with the team since her freshman year and held various leadership positions before becoming president her senior year.

“It was very important to me that there was strong leadership at the start of this year so that I could pass on what I know before graduating,” Chapuis said.

Despite the two-year gap and new student leaders, Chapuis and his team received an offer from downtown San Luis Obispo to help with a seasonal display of lights in Mission Square. This month-long project allowed the new team to practice building techniques and understand the intricacies of building a large parade float.

Cal Poly officials said this year’s float is meant to showcase the theme of the 2022 parade “Dream. Believe. Achieve.” — a celebration of the power of education to open doors and change lives.

The float, inspired by the nursery rhyme “Hey Diddle Diddle”, featured an 18-by-55-foot animatronic display of a cow flying over the moon with a jetpack.

The float includes a tribute to the Cal Poly alumnus John Madden, who died on December 28, during team design week.