Posted by: Tom Ross | July 22, 2014

Dreamers

 Click on the title above to view on the CTE Central Blog website.

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When odd bedfellows like Sheldon Adelson, Warren Buffett, and Bill Gates coordinate an Op-Ed in the New York Times, people take notice.

GatesEtc

They came together to talk about what they consider to be Congress’s unbending ideologies when it comes to immigration reform and the effect that has on our workforce.

“We believe it borders on insanity to train intelligent and motivated people in our universities — often subsidizing their education — and then to deport them when they graduate. For those who wish to stay and work in computer science or technology, fields badly in need of their services, let’s roll out the welcome mat.”

They also recommend we ”remove the worldwide cap on the number of visas that could be awarded to legal immigrants who had earned a graduate degree in science, technology, engineering or mathematics from an accredited institution of higher education in the United States, provided they had an offer of employment.“ The bill also includes a plan to allow illegal residents to obtain citizenship after they have jumped through all the hoops.

What else catches our attention? When an underdog wins.

82004 Robotics Team members from Carl Hayden Community High School:Cristian Arcega, Oscar Vazques, Luis Aranda, and Lorenzo Santillan, with Fred Lajvardi, coach.

In 2004 at Carl Hayden High School in Phoenix, AZ, four teenagers in the Robotic Team—see above—took on a giant challenge: to enter a prestigious competition sponsored by NASA and the Office of Naval Research to build an underwater robot. They would be pitted against, among others, MIT.

And they won. (Watch this inspiring three-minute video.)

What’s the connection? Therein lies the rub. These four winning student engineers are undocumented sons of Mexican immigrants.

We now have a chance to see their story in a new documentary titled Underwater Dreams. It is written and directed by Mary Mazzio and produced by 50 Eggs, Inc.

underwaterDreams

“This is a story about grit, resiliency, inspiration and finding talent in places that you might not expect. These kids are extraordinary, but they are representative of hundreds of thousands of similarly situated kids capable of great things,” Mazzio told AZEDNEWS in a radio interview. “If you go to Carl Hayden today, there are kids saying I want to go to college and study engineering. They are throwing around engineering terms like cookies.”

The members of the losing MIT team are now engineers. The winners from the Carl Hayden Community High team are still fighting the system, even ten years later.

To know more about Underwater Dreams, check out their website, including the Reviews and Feedback page. Jonathan Alter from The Daily Beast said that this film “may be the most politically significant documentary since Waiting for Superman.”

In partnership with AMC Theaters and NBCUniversal, the documentary will be in 100 cities across the country. Non-profits and educators will have an opportunity to bring students to see the film, free of charge–send an email to requests@50eggs.com. It is also available from On Demand or for purchase.

The Carl Hayden Community High Robotics Team’s motto (taken from the film The Matrix) is: There Is No Spoon. “It is not the spoon that bends. It is only yourself.”


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