Faculty In Action

Dr. Mariappan Jawaharlal (Dr. Jawa)

Dr. Mariappan Jawaharlal (Dr. Jawa)
Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Cal Poly Pomona
Category: Engineering

Open Quotation

“Service Learning involves real people in real time, and therefore, it contains certain elements of drama and dilemma, making it personally meaningful and fulfilling.”


Dr. Jawa’s School Robotics class was the first “S”-designated Engineering service-learning course at Cal Poly Pomona. Through this course, Cal Poly Pomona engineering students and faculty visit local K-12 schools each week to train school teachers and mentor students with hands-on activities about robotics. This program culminates with an annual Robotics competition titled “The Fourth R Robotic Challenge at Cal Poly Pomona.” The Fourth R Robotics program, the largest program of its kind in the country, reaches hundreds of elementary, middle and high school students. Dr. Jawa and his students have personally worked with over 1,000 students in the last few years.

Dr. Jawa explains the value of incorporating service learning into engineering courses: “Service learning is an effective instructional approach that provides a framework for creating authentic learning experiences. Service learning is a natural fit for engineering. Incorporating service learning has changed the traditional, passive teacher-centered didactic approach to an active, learner-centered, meaningful engagement with students.”

Visit Dr. Jawaharlal’s website »