Twenty-one local high school students have played their part in a nearly 135-year tradition thanks to the LMU School of Education’s Upward Bound and LMU Upward Bound Math and Science programs.
On Dec. 2, 2023, the Inglewood and Westchester High LMU UB and UBMS program participants boarded a chartered bus at Inglewood High that took them to the Burbank Tournament of Roses Association to help construct floats for the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California, on Jan. 1, 2024.
“As a curator of the trip,” said Sha-Dé Chapman, director of the Upward Bound and Upward Bound Math and Science programs, “I had the exhilarating experience of providing this opportunity to witness the participants learn about the science, mechanics, and artistry of creating the Rose Bowl Parade float. This was a first-time experience for all the students present. What’s even more exciting is that our students will be able to see their hard work being showcased on television or social media.”
The students spent the day involved in various activities such as building petals, cutting petals, cleaning marigolds, cutting metal, and painting. “They learned about the science behind constructing a float and had hands-on experience creating petals for the flowers,” said Chapman. “Some students painted caterpillar faces and cut flower petals or metal to make life-size petals, while others cleaned marigolds, a bright-colored flower that will be glued to the float to make it pop with vibrant colors.” The students received five hours of community service for their efforts.
Participants have fun while obtaining community service hours, and they also attend monthly Saturday Academies, where high school senior focus on college applications, and underclassmen work on math, English, science, writing papers, or study. After lunch, the LMU Upward Bound student council focuses on an interactive student-led activity. During Saturday Academy, the students are in various locations on campus.