Documentary 'Underwater Dreams' to be shown at CSUSB

How an underwater robot, built by a team of undocumented Mexican high school students for a competition against the likes of MIT

By LatinoLA Contributor
Published on LatinoLA: March 10, 2015

Documentary 'Underwater Dreams' to be shown at CSUSB

How an underwater robot, built by a team of undocumented Mexican high school students for a competition against the likes of MIT, inspired a legacy of hope, leadership and dreams at their impoverished high school is the focus of a documentary film that will be shown at Cal State San Bernardino on Thursday, March 12.

"Underwater Dreams" will be shown at 5:30 p.m. in CSUSB's John M. Pfau Library, room PL-5005. The event is free. Complimentary parking is available by stopping by the parking kiosk at the University Parkway entrance.

Written and directed by Mary Mazzio and narrated by Michael Pe??a, "Underwater Dreams" is the true story of four students from Carl Hayden Community High School in Phoenix, Ariz., who in 2004 built the robot for the Marine Advanced Technology Education Center's annual International ROV competition, which is sponsored by the National Science Foundation, Marine Technology Society, NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and NASA.UC Santa Barbara.

As the film's trailer says, the students, under the tutelage of two of their teachers, decided to build the robot on whim and enter the competition that included MIT.
Overcoming problems with their robot, named "Stinky," the students won the competition.

And, as the film shows, that inspired so much more back at Carl Hayden, from pursuing academic excellence in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields and other areas, to striving for social justice.

Discussion after the movie will be led by Cristian Arcega, one of the original robotics team members at Carl Hayden. Arcega, who graduated second from his high school class and earned a full scholarship to Arizona State University, was forced to drop out because of the state's Proposition 300, which denied state financial aid to undocumented students.

"Underwater Dreams" is being presented by the Pfau Library and LEAD, the Latino Education Advocacy Days project.

"We often train the most talented foreign-born students in our best educational institutions, only to drive them overseas to compete against us in the global marketplace because our current immigration system does not offer them an opportunity to stay," said Enrique G. Murillo Jr. CSUSB education professor and executive director of LEAD.

"Also, there are many thousands of hardworking undocumented students, brought to this country as young children who have grown up in the U.S., excelled in our schools, and are American in every sense ÔÇô except for their legal immigration status," Murillo said. "When it comes time to apply for colleges and universities, or start a career upon graduation, many find the doors effectively shut and insurmountable because they lack that legal status.

"This movie should be seen in every high school and college in the country, where it will inspire thousands of students into STEM education," he said. "It stresses the importance of closing the Latino student achievement gap, and should also inspire Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform so we can see young talented people for who they are, and who they can be."

For more on the film, go to the "Underwater Dreams" website at http://www.underwaterdreamsfilm.com and watch the movie trailer on YouTube at http://youtu.be/2FqCO5clKR0 .

For more on the March 12 program at the Pfau Library, contact Iwona Contreras at (909) 37-3447 or email icontrer@csusb.edu.

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