Members of the "Spare Parts" team. From left to right: Allan Cameron, Luis Aranda, Lorenzo Santillan, Oscar Vazquez, Cristian Arcega and Fredi Lajvardi.

Members of the "Spare Parts" team. From left to right: Allan Cameron, Luis Aranda, Lorenzo Santillan, Oscar Vazquez, Cristian Arcega and Fredi Lajvardi.

In 2004, four Latino high school students won an underwater robotics competition sponsored by NASA and the Office of Naval Research. With little funding or experience, they beat out a field of college teams, including one from MIT. It was a classic underdog story with a made-for-Hollywood ending. In fact, a major motion picture recounting their victory will be released later this week. Yet, the reality was much more complicated. The teenagers from Phoenix lived in the United States illegally. Though clearly talented, they faced a future with limited options. A new book called “Spare Parts: Four Undocumented Teenagers, One Ugly Robot, and the Battle for the American Dream” tells their story.

Guests

  • Oscar Vazquez member of the 2004 Carl Hayden Community High School underwater robotics team
  • Joshua Davis contributing editor at Wired, a co-founder of Epic magazine, and author of "The Underdog"
  • Fredi Lajvardi program director for the Center for Marine Science at Carl Hayden Community High School
  • Lorenzo Santillan member of the 2004 Carl Hayden Community High School underwater robotics team

Read An Excerpt

Excerpted from “Spare Parts: Four Undocumented Teenagers, One Ugly Robot, and the Battle for the American Dream.” Copyright 2014 by Joshua Davis. Republished with permission from FSG Books. All Rights Reserved.

Watch: Spare Parts Official Trailer

Related Links

Topics + Tags

Comments

comments powered by Disqus
Most Recent Shows

Maya Angelou: “Mom & Me & Mom” (Rebroadcast) – And Diane Signs Off

Friday, Dec 30 2016Maya Angelou came onto this program several times over the years. But in her last conversation with Diane, in 2013, she talked about writing about her fraught relationship with her mother for the first time. Her last words to Diane: “I love you, Diane Rehm. And I look forward to seeing you and talking to you again and again.” A year later, she died at the age of 86. In one of Diane's most treasured interviews, the women reflect on forgiveness, healing and reconciliation.