Four Undocumented Teenagers, One Ugly Robot, and the Battle for the American DreamBook - 2014
Four undocumented Mexican American students, two great teachers, one robot-building contest ... and a major motion picture. In 2004, four Latino teenagers arrived at the Marine Advanced Technology Education Robotics Competition at the University of California, Santa Barbara. They were born in Mexico but raised in Phoenix, Arizona, where they attended an underfunded public high school. No one had ever suggested to Oscar, Cristian, Luis, or Lorenzo that they might amount to much, but two inspiring science teachers had convinced these impoverished, undocumented kids from the desert who had never even seen the ocean that they should try to build an underwater robot. And build a robot they did. Their robot wasn't pretty, especially compared to those of the competition. They were going up against some of the best collegiate engineers in the country, including a team from MIT backed by a $10,000 grant from ExxonMobil. The Phoenix teenagers had scraped together less than $1,000 and built their robot out of scavenged parts. This was never a level competition, and yet, against all odds ... they won! But this is just the beginning for these four, whose story--which became a key inspiration to the DREAMers movement--will go on to include first-generation college graduations, deportation, bean-picking in Mexico, and service in Afghanistan. Joshua Davis's Spare Parts is a story about overcoming insurmountable odds and four young men who proved they were among the most patriotic and talented Americans in this country--even as the country tried to kick them out.
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SchoolCorps2 Nov 25, 2015
"No one had ever suggested to Oscar, Cristian, Luis, or Lorenzo that they might amount to much--but two inspiring science teachers had convinced these impoverished, undocumented kids from the desert who had never even seen the ocean that they should try to build an underwater robot. And buil... Read More »
multcolib_capitolhill Jun 11, 2015
Just like Joe Rantz in The Boys in the Boat, Lorenzo Santilian, Oscar Vaquez, Christian Arcega, and Luis Arranda had tough childhoods. They joined their high school robotics team and got inspired to enter an underwater robotics competition.They competed against many well funded college teams and... Read More »
Nina says- Two teachers in an Arizona high school put together a robot design team from an unlikely group of boys. While the title is a great description of the book, Davis also captures what it’s like to be undocumented in the country, whether you have talent and brains or not.
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