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.
Tells the story of how, with the help of two inspiring science teachers, four undocumented Mexican immigrants in Arizona put together an underwater robot from scavenged parts and went on to win the National Underwater Robotics Competition at UC Santa Barbara.
The true story of four underdogs from the mean streets of Phoenix and how they took on the best from MIT in the National Underwater Robotics Championship The story that inspired the major motion picture produced by George Lopez, directed by Sean McNamara, and starring Marissa Tomei, Jamie Lee Curtis, Steven Michael Quezada, and George Lopez, La Vida Robot is an underdog story about four undocumented Mexican-American teenagers from Phoenix who form a robotics team. With $800, used car parts, and a dream, they build an underwater robot that wins the national robotics competition, taking down reigning champion MIT.
Author: Kara Platoni
Publisher: Basic Books
Release Date: 2015-12-08
An award-winning journalist investigates how scientists and citizens around the world are re-tooling our senses—and what their discoveries are teaching us about the nature and future of human perception
As creatures from different worlds, Tesla and Lynx should never have met. The A-ones and Underdwellers don't mix in the Dome, but Tesla is no ordinary A-one. She isn't afraid to question everything. Her entire life, she had been taught that the Underdwellers lacked the basic capacity to love or understand the high moral ground of loyalty. Something in her always questioned the absolute truth of this kind of prejudicial thinking. Then, quite by accident, she witnesses something that shakes her already shaky faith in these beliefs. Captivated, she watches Lynx, an Underdweller, defend a friend-an act she was told was impossible for these brutish creatures. In that moment, she knows that she doesn't know the truth. Tesla saves Lynx from certain death and, in a moment of inspiration and fear, asks him for a favor that puts them both in danger. It's a favor that could be the undoing of the Dome itself.
Marooned in a broken-down Houston neighborhood--and in a Mexican immigrant family where making ends meet matters much more than making it to college--smart, talented Marissa seeks comfort elsewhere when her home life becomes unbearable.
Author: Miguel Tinker Salas
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2015-04-02
Genre: Political Science
Among the top ten oil exporters in the world and a founding member of OPEC, Venezuela currently supplies 11 percent of U.S. crude oil imports. But when the country elected the fiery populist politician Hugo Chavez in 1998, tensions rose with this key trading partner and relations have been strained ever since. In this concise, accessible addition to Oxford's What Everyone Needs to Know? series, Miguel Tinker Salas -- a native of Venezuela who has written extensively about the country -- takes a broadly chronological approach that focuses especially on oil and its effects on Venezuela's politics, economy, culture, and international relations. After an introductory section that discusses the legacy of Spanish colonialism, Tinker Salas explores the "The Era of the Gusher," a period which began with the discovery of oil in the early twentieth century, encompassed the mid-century development and nationalization of the industry, and ended with a change of government in 1989 in response to widespread protests. The third section provides a detailed discussion of Hugo Chavez-his rise to power, his domestic political and economic policies, and his high-profile forays into international relations-as well as surveying the current landscape of Venezuela in the wake of Chavez's death in March 2013. Arranged in a question-and-answer format that allows readers to search topics of particular interest, the book covers questions such as, who is Sim?n Bol?var and why is he called the George Washington of Latin America? How did the discovery of oil change Venezuela's relationship to the U.S.? What forces where behind the coups of 1992? And how does Venezuela interact with China, Russia, and Iran? Informative, engaging, and written by a leading expert on the country, Venezuela: What Everyone Needs to Know? offers an authoritative guide to an increasingly important player on the world stage. What Everyone Needs to Know? is a registered trademark of Oxford University Press.
When New York–based graphic designers and long-time friends Timothy Goodman and Jessica Walsh found themselves single at the same time, they decided to try an experiment. The old adage says that it takes 40 days to change a habit—could the same be said for love? So they agreed to date each other for 40 days, record their experiences in questionnaires, photographs, videos, texts, and artworks, and post the material on a website they would create for this purpose. What began as a small experiment between two friends became an Internet sensation, drawing 5 million unique (and obsessed) visitors from around the globe to their site and their story since it was launched in July 2013. 40 Days of Dating: An Experiment is a beautifully designed, expanded look at the experiment and the results, including a great deal of material that never made it onto the site, such as who they were as friends and individuals before the 40 days and who they have become since. Note: 40 Days of Dating has a special binding that allows it to open very flat by attaching the endpapers to the inside covers.
That Monday afternoon, in high-school gyms across America, kids were battling for the only glory American culture seems to want to dispense to the young these days: sports glory. But at Dos Pueblos High School in Goleta, California, in a gear-cluttered classroom, a different type of “cool” was brewing. A physics teacher with a dream – the first public high-school teacher ever to win a MacArthur Genius Award -- had rounded up a band of high-I.Q. students who wanted to put their technical know-how to work. If you asked these brainiacs what the stakes were that first week of their project, they’d have told you it was all about winning a robotics competition – building the ultimate robot and prevailing in a machine-to-machine contest in front of 25,000 screaming fans at Atlanta’s Georgia Dome. But for their mentor, Amir Abo-Shaeer, much more hung in the balance. The fact was, Amir had in mind a different vision for education, one based not on rote learning -- on absorbing facts and figures -- but on active creation. In his mind’s eye, he saw an even more robust academy within Dos Pueblos that would make science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) cool again, and he knew he was poised on the edge of making that dream a reality. All he needed to get the necessary funding was one flashy win – a triumph that would firmly put his Engineering Academy at Dos Pueblos on the map. He imagined that one day there would be a nation filled with such academies, and a new popular veneration for STEM – a “new cool” – that would return America to its former innovative glory. It was a dream shared by Dean Kamen, a modern-day inventing wizard – often-called “the Edison of his time” – who’d concocted the very same FIRST Robotics Competition that had lured the kids at Dos Pueblos. Kamen had created FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) nearly twenty years prior. And now, with a participant alumni base approaching a million strong, he felt that awareness was about to hit critical mass. But before the Dos Pueblos D’Penguineers could do their part in bringing a new cool to America, they’d have to vanquish an intimidating lineup of “super-teams”– high-school technology goliaths that hailed from engineering hot spots such as Silicon Valley, Massachusetts’ Route 128 technology corridor, and Michigan’s auto-design belt. Some of these teams were so good that winning wasn’t just hoped for every year, it was expected. In The New Cool, Neal Bascomb manages to make even those who know little about – or are vaguely suspicious of – technology care passionately about a team of kids questing after a different kind of glory. In these kids’ heartaches and headaches – and yes, high-five triumphs -- we glimpse the path not just to a new way of educating our youth but of honoring the crucial skills a society needs to prosper. A new cool.
About 2.4 million children and young adults under 24 years of age are undocumented. Brought by their parents to the US as minorsmany before they had reached their teensthey account for about one-sixth of the total undocumented population. Illegal through no fault of their own, some 65,000 undocumented students graduate from the nation's high schools each year. They cannot get a legal job, and face enormous barriers trying to enter college to better themselvesand yet America is the only country they know and, for many, English is the only language they speak.
Author: Val Wang
Release Date: 2014-10-30
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
A humorous and moving coming-of-age story that brings a unique, not-quite-outsider’s perspective to China’s shift from ancient empire to modern superpower Raised in a strict Chinese-American household in the suburbs, Val Wang dutifully got good grades, took piano lessons, and performed in a Chinese dance troupe—until she shaved her head and became a leftist, the stuff of many teenage rebellions. But Val’s true mutiny was when she moved to China, the land her parents had fled before the Communist takeover in 1949. Val arrives in Beijing in 1998 expecting to find freedom but instead lives in the old city with her traditional relatives, who wake her at dawn with the sound of a state-run television program playing next to her cot, make a running joke of how much she eats, and monitor her every move. But outside, she soon discovers a city rebelling against its roots just as she is, struggling too to find a new, modern identity. Rickshaws make way for taxicabs, skyscrapers replace hutong courtyard houses, and Beijing prepares to make its debut on the world stage with the 2008 Olympics. And in the gritty outskirts of the city where she moves, a thriving avant-garde subculture is making art out of the chaos. Val plunges into the city’s dizzying culture and nightlife and begins shooting a documentary, about a Peking Opera family who is witnessing the death of their traditional art. Brilliantly observed and winningly told, Beijing Bastard is a compelling story of a young woman finding her place in the world and of China, as its ancient past gives way to a dazzling but uncertain future.