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Our Arizona STEM Stories in a Theater Near You
By Carmen Cornejo, Hispanic Community Outreach
We know we have good stories to tell. We know of unsung heroes, common people doing extraordinary things that set them apart to become role models for others. We are Arizonans and we know sometimes things are difficult but we manage to successfully do the job.
One of our Arizona stories is now set for the silver screen. Spare Parts, the fictionalized account of the Carl Hayden High School Robotics team win against top universities in an underwater robotics competition will be showing at movie theaters all over the country, starting January the 16th, after an exciting worldwide premiere, on January the 6th at Tempe Harkins Theaters 16.
The movie, starred and produced by George Lopez, tells the story of 4 immigrant kids from a High School in west Phoenix who, guided by an inspiring mentor Fredi Cameron, manage to compete against top college students in a sophisticated tech competition. We know “Fredi Cameron” is the composite character for Fredi Lajvardi and Dr. Allan Cameron, decades long STEM teachers and mentors (wink-wink).
Also starring on Spare Parts are Marisa Tomei, Jamie Lee Curtis and young actors playing the parts of Lorenzo Santillan, Luis Aranda, Cristian Arcega and Oscar Vazquez.
The movie comes after a very successful documentary called Underwater Dreams by director Mary Mazzio, who brings the Carl Hayden 4 saga in great detail plus what happened to the lives of the persons involved, the transformative ripple effects of their actions. Also a book called Spare Parts by Josh Davies is being sold, achieving good reviews.
The best part of the all is that is one of our stories. We all STEM supporters encounter kids like the Carl Hayden four, talented, young people full of potential all the time. We work, volunteer and serve on non-profit boards so kids that may look underprivileged raise to the top and achieve great things even in difficult fields as science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
So this is the opportunity to celebrate big, to recommend the movie, the documentary, the book, roll up our sleeves and keep working.