students from San Cayetano Elementary School race their robot

students from North Ridge Magnet School ready their robot.

Watch school teams test their software-enabled Lego robots via a live Internet program during the annual Southern California NASA Explorer Schools Robotics Competition.

Students in grades 4 through 12 will command their robots to complete tasks on a simulated Martian terrain.

The competition and related activities will be held at JPL on Tues., Mar. 9, from 12:15 to 3:30 p.m. Pacific time, with the awards ceremony at 3 p.m. Pacific time. The event can be seen live on this page, or at .

All participating teams are part of the NASA Explorer Schools project, a partnership between NASA and about 200 elementary and middle schools nationwide. The project teaches and encourages students to pursue disciplines critical to NASA's future engineering, science and technical missions. JPL and NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif., are the local NASA partners for approximately 25 schools in Southern California.

More information can be found online at .

Student teams from the following California schools will be participating:

Charles T. Kranz Intermediate School, El Monte
Jack Weaver School, Murrieta
Johnson Magnet School for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, San Diego
Lake View Elementary School, Huntington Beach
Mesa Union School, Somis
Nestle Avenue Elementary School, Tarzana
North Ridge Magnet School, Moreno Valley
Roosevelt Middle School, Glendale
San Cayetano Elementary School, Fillmore
Shirley Avenue Elementary School, Reseda
Sycamore Hills Elementary School, Fontana
Village Academy High School, Pomona
Vintage Math Science Technology Magnet School, North Hills