{read online pdf} La Vida Robot: Four Undocumented Teenagers, Two Teachers Who Instilled Them with a Crazy Dream, and One High-Stakes Robot-Building ContestAuthor Joshua Davis – Vivefutbol.co

Four Undocumented Mexican American Students, Two Great Teachers, One Robot Building Contestand A Major Motion Picture In , 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 , Grant From ExxonMobil The Phoenix Teenagers Had Scraped Together Less Than , 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 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


10 thoughts on “La Vida Robot: Four Undocumented Teenagers, Two Teachers Who Instilled Them with a Crazy Dream, and One High-Stakes Robot-Building Contest

  1. says:

    Speaking as a kid who did the same robotics contests at or less the same time FIRST 2002 2004, MATE 2005 , Spare Parts is the real deal They were four kids born in Mexico and living in the bad part of Phoenix, undocumented immigrants with one shot at glory Oscar was ROTC, a born leader Lorenzo torn between flashy style and even flashier outbursts of anger Cristian was a natural scientist and inventor Luis a gentle giant Together with two talented and dedicated teachers, they made an underwater robot that took first place in the 2004 MATE contest, defeating a score of well funded teams, including MIT.It s a true underdog story, and on that is every bit as inspiring as you d expect god, even reading the prior paragraph of this review makes me want to throw up a little from the schmaltz This book is light on the technical details, but manages to capture all the excitement of making something and having it work or explode spectacularly.But the technical cannot be distangled from the political Our four protagonists excelled, and then hit a brick wall as their undocumented status barred them from engineering programs and the Army They became political footballs in nativist Arizona politics and the debacle of the DREAM act I m angry that people who are smarter and harder working than I am can t live up to their potential in America because of a choice their parents made when they were children I m ashamed at how easy I ve had it by comparison Davis doesn t hammer the politics, but even the most even handed account of the actual lives of these people reveals shocking injustice So yeah, come for the robots and the underdog story, stay to find out how America betrays those who best embody its ideals.


  2. says:

    Back in their dorm room, Fredi and Allan were worried The robot wasn t working, and the kids were scheduled to go in front of the NASA and Navy experts within hours Stinky was turning out to be a failure from the outset The kids felt defeated before the competition had even begun Oscar wasn t ready to give up Let s take it apart now, he argued We can fix it Fredi didn t want the kids preoccupied when they presented themselves to the experts They had to be mentally ready for what would likely be an intense grilling Look, don t worry about the robot right now, he said We ve got all night to fix it It s important to get ready for the review, Allan said The kids had limited experience talking in front of imposing professionals Raising money and competing in the FIRST program had helped, but talking to an audience was still a novel experience That, coupled with their shaken confidence, could undermine everything they d accomplished so far They might leave Santa Barbara convinced that the whole thing was a mistake, that it wasn t their lot to be ambitious They needed to be jolted into a better frame of mind, so Allan decided on a gamble Everybody come with me, he commanded The team followed him out of the dorm to a bridge Though it was summertime, there was still a steady flow of pedestrians I want you guys to hang out here and talk to anybody who comes by, Allan said What do you want us to talk about Oscar asked Say, Hi, would you like to hear about our thrusters Allan prompted Lorenzo snickered I don t think nobody is going to talk to us if we say that Tell them you built a robot, Allan persevered They ll want to hear about it Fredi and Allan walked off and watched from a distance The locals might ignore the kids or think that they were panhandling That could further undermine their already fragile state of mind Allan was hoping that wouldn t happen He was banking on the kindness of strangers The kids were bashful at first and let a handful of people walk by Oscar gripped a white, plastic, three ring binder that contained drawings of Stinky s innovations Finally Lorenzo mustered up the courage to talk to a man who looked like a professor Hi, we re high school students from Phoenix, and we re here to compete in an underwater robotics contest Do you want to hear about it The man laughed Okay What does your robot do Oscar stepped forward with his three ring binder and flipped to the first page, which displayed a photo of Stinky It s an ROV That means remotely operated vehicle He explained that Stinky was designed to retrieve underwater objects, record video, sample fluid, measure distances, and locate sounds It can do all that the man said When it s working, yeah, Oscar said Right now it s kind of messed up Well, I ll be rooting for you, the man said, and, after wishing them luck, headed away After that, the team stopped a variety of people and explained why their robot was so cool, even if it was on life support Cristian talked about applying the index of refraction to their laser range findings, and Lorenzo bragged about his ghetto liquid sampling tool The people they talked to seemed impressed by the ragtag group of teens, and the reaction they got gave them a boost It reminded them that they were doing something they had never done before In Phoenix, they were called illegal aliens and pegged as criminals They were alternately viewed as American, Mexican, or neither Now, for a moment, they were simply teenagers at a robotics competition by the ocean.4 3 4 stars


  3. says:

    Now a major motion picture starring George Lopez my husband got to go to the movie premiere and met the boys, now men, in this story It is the tale of how these HS students, only one of whom had legal status, were able to build an underwater robot and beat college teams, including MIT, in a NASA sponsored competition And if you wonder why people don t just come here legally , all you need to do is see what happened to Oscar when he tried to do just that I don t usually voice politics on social media, but Oscar s story defies common sense by any definition Outstanding book for teachers using project based learning, or those working with underprivileged students, those working with leadership groups.


  4. says:

    This was an enjoyable book based on the true story of how 4 high schoolers at Carl Hayden Community High school in Phoenix unseated some of the top collegiate engineering teams at a national underwater robotics competition At its core is the well worn, root for the underdog storyline But this time the protagonists are 4 underprivileged, Hispanic high schoolers who beyond all odds, form a robotics team, enter a national marine robotics competition, scrape together a small budget, put together their ROV remote operated vehicle with a bunch of spare parts, and ultimately go head to head with some of the best collegiate engineering teams in the country, including M.I.T.But aside from the heartfelt triumph, what made this story great was While the competition is the main theme of the book, the ups and downs of the contest ultimately seem trivial compared to the constant battle the high schoolers face with poverty, home instability, and in some cases, fear of deportation The author spends a lot of time helping really understand where the characters come from, their family history, and what they deal with even to show up to school, much less learn and compete in robotics The competition isn t the end point The real power of this book isn t just showing the power of a few to overcome, it s the focus on what becomes of the high schoolers after the competitionIt s an easy read and it delivers the expected underdog victory punch But importantly, it makes you think deeply about policy in the US, failures in our current system, and how we fail to develop what could be a great source of talent for our country.


  5. says:

    The tale of four Hispanic teens and their low paid teachers who did extraordinarily well in robotics competitions Reading this made me want to invent things Then I read what happened to the kids after the competitions were over The American Dream is a lie and all too many of my fellow citizens are racists and assholes.


  6. says:

    On one level this book chronicles the achievements of 4 teenage boys, illegally brought to the States by their families, who, inspired by a teacher in their poor high school, built a robot and won a national robotics competition, sponsored by NASA, beating university teams, including one from MIT A great story, inspirational, made into a movie in 2015 Haven t seen the movie, but according to the book, it s got a Hollywood ending Their real stories haven t ended as happily When the book was written, only 1 of the boys had fulfilled his dream of becoming a US citizen, and that happened only after a strong letter writing campaign from important people around the country, as he was turned down twice The others live in fear of being deported, and since they ve been here beyond age 18, they d be banned from applying to return for 10 years So on a second level this book is an indictment of our immigration laws that make it almost impossible for bright young people like these, who have achieved against the odds, to become citizens, even though they were brought here without having had the opportunity even to apply for a green card An important read on both levels in these uneasy times.


  7. says:

    This is the true story of four high school students who are in the US illegally They build an underwater ROV robot and win a national championship, beating top notch teams from places like MIT It is also the story of their lives, hardships and what it is like as an illegal immigrant in this country This book made me emotional I grew up in Glendale, a close neighborhood of west Phoenix I know exactly where Carl Hayden High School isI know that neighborhood and I ve met and know a lot about the despicable in my opinion Sheriff Joe This is my hometown being talked about I am experiencing a wide range of emotions as I listen to this on CD These kids have hard lives, face challenges that most of us can t really imagine but so many of the students I have taught and the people I have known have faced these or similar experiences , and they are inspiring to me Growing up in Phoenix and being married to a Hispanic immigrant have definitely shaped my views on immigration and I am pretty disgusted by the way these immigrants are treated by Sheriff Joe and vigilantes and others I m only about 1 4 of the way through right now, but I am finding this book immensely engaging I have not lived in AZ for over 20 years now, but I was talking to my younger sister about the book and she remembers reading about this Carl Hayden teamshe was living in a suburb of Phoenix when it happened and it was in the news there Okay, this book had me sobbing as I drove to work I probably looked like a crazy person but the last section filled me with anger, sadness and deep frustration The immigration system is so completely messed up and it angers me This book was inspiring in parts, maddening in parts, and depressing in parts Particularly knowing that many of the children I have taught are in the same circumstances and it seems there is so little hope for them to be able to make a better life for themselves I have strong feelings on immigration and know that many of my family members and friends disagree with me, but this book increased my compassion for those coming here to seek a better life The system stinks and needs reform but I am doubtful that any reform that occurs will be the type of reform I think needs to happen.


  8. says:

    Our immigration system AND our education system are a hot mess This true story shows us what is stake and what the possibilities are if we could just get our shit together and start embracing immigration and respecting teachers I cried repeatedly, both from joy and frustration, as I read I think all educators actually all humans should read this true story of four undocumented young men and their two outstanding high school teachers who beat MIT in an undersea robot contest Read it for an excellent example of what happens when you hire well educated and passionate teachers and then respect them give the freedom to teach and experiment And for much evidence about why immigration matters, and the damage that our immigration policies have done to outstanding people I don t want to suggest that only good immigrants like these young men deserve to be in the US The stories shared in this book of young people being rounded up while hanging out at the pizza shop, or on a school trip to Niagara Falls, jailed and deported are just heartbreaking even if they aren t outstanding scientists.This book raises so many issues How do four young men each with unique strengths but not traditionally A students bond together to create an impressivelly innovative robot that can go underwater, measure a submarine, enter the submarine to retrieve prizes, and take a liquid sample from a 1 2 wide tube Obviously the young men are outstanding, but their two teachers are as well I think there is great strength in having two very brilliant and well educated teachers who can feed off and encourage each other These teachers had freedom to allow students in class to experiment and follow dreams and ideas without Guaranteed Viable Curriculum or Common Core They were trusted to provide a valuable education for their students Also they had each other I m not sure one teacher alone would have had the strength or energy to put in the long long hours and emotional support, much less have the technical and intellectual ability on their own.But even after these boys build an incredible robot, kept their grades up in all their classes, battled college teams with huge sponsors while these boys had a budget of 1,000 their college and life choices were still incredibly limited because they were brought to the US by their parents who wanted better lives for their children, crawling through breaks in fencing, ducking under fences, crossing in cars with faked papers All this scientific and innovative brilliance and the boys were excluded from many scholarships and all federal help, forced to pay out of state tuition even though their parents had been working and paying taxes in the US Just heartbreaking I can t tell you how many times I cried and cheered confusing my dog profoundly.


  9. says:

    I heard about this book in a great review by the Washington Post The book is excellent I was amazed by the intelligence, ingenuity, energy, hopefulness, positive outlook and commitment of four young illegal immigrants and their two dedicated teachers But this is far from just a light hearted feel good story of underdogs winning a competition.The book is substantive in capturing the story of young people living in the U.S illegally because they were brought here as children The story captures the constant feeling of fear and the restriction of what one can do because of the danger lurking around every corner It captures the depressing reality that your aspirations don t matter no matter how hard you work, how smart you are and what you can contribute, no matter how committed you are to success and to the United States, there is no place for you.I am not an immigrant but work with immigrants and have first hand knowledge of the high handed, irrational and even illegal actions perpetrated by the Immigration and Naturalization Service INS now called Immigration and Customs Enforcement ICE I am hopeful that the recent steps taken by President Obama will reduce the negative impact of ICE and allow good people who want to work hard for our country to do so.


  10. says:

    Like Stinky, their extraordinary underwater robot, the four undocumented high schoolers Oscar, Cristian, Luis, and Lorenzo are made of spare parts specifically, Mexican and American spare identities that had been pieced together and then regarded as nothing but junk But like so many Dreamers, whose lives now hang in the balance with the suspension of DACA, looks can be deceiving These would be engineers underwater robotics engineers living in the middle of the Arizona desert tackle obstacles as formidable as the MIT engineering team, the U.S immigration system, and even Joe Arpaio.I don t want to give away any of this inspirational true story, but I do hope people choose to read and importantly, to hear the much maligned and rarely heard voices of undocumented Dreamers Yes, the narrative is anecdotal, and yes, the U.S immigration system needs an overhaul, but these boys should remind us all that there are real people behind our national immigration debate I can think of no other issue, especially in this era of Trump, that needs humanizing than this one.