Monday, February 22, 2016

Spare Parts and Underwater Dreams

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.


Mirka Breen said...

The movie and the true story behind it reminds me of OCTOBER SKY, also a true story about kids in a rural and poor coal-mining town's appalachian high school who wind up winning the national science fair in the late fifties. I always thought it should be mandatory watching for schools that hold these fairs. Here's to the dreamers!
I hope your guys come back not only tired, but satisfied.

Jenni Enzor said...

I haven't heard of this movie, but it sounds really intriguing. Both my boys are into robots and science, so it sounds like something we might all like.
Good luck to your guys on their project!

Bish Denham said...

I'll be checking out this movie. The title alone calls me, since my father called all us kids "spare parts." :)

Katie L. Carroll said...

Good luck to your boys!

Vijaya said...

Mirka, I forgot about that movie ... can you believe I still haven't watched it? Thanks for the great rec and the good wishes for the robotics competition.

Jenni, your boys will enjoy it.

Bish, I hope you are writing a memoir about your parents. You've shared so many wonderful tidbits about them.

Katie, thank you!