This is the big week -- last minute things to fix up the robot, bag it up, and take it for the competition. The challenge this year is described here. It's been a busy six weeks and I'm sure my guys are going to collapse and sleep for an entire day when they return.
So it was great to watch this: Spare Parts, a movie based on a true story about four Hispanic high school kids, children of undocumented immigrants, who used all their ingenuity to make an underwater robot that beat even MIT. These kids surmounted great obstacles and it is a story that will leave you thinking about more than just robots.
You can watch the documentary Underwater Dreams too, which has interviews with the students and teachers involved in the making the robot, and the legacy they leave for their school and community. It portrays the problems children of undocumented workers face.
What is the solution? I don't know. I sympathize with the immigrants who are looking for a better life in the US. But to do so illegally causes so many problems, the first being living in fear, the second, painful separation of families when a parent is caught and deported, and third, their exploitation. Perhaps it's time for the US to recognize that we need the people who want to come here and work. Perhaps grant them a worker's visa, so that they can work freely, pay taxes and become a recognized part of this country.