Underwater Dreams Debut and Panel Discussion
  • Panel discussion with Sofia Campos, Jose Gomez, Renata Teodoro, Junot Diaz, Mary Mazzio, and Phillip Clay
    Panel discussion with Sofia Campos, Jose Gomez, Renata Teodoro, Junot Diaz, Mary Mazzio, and Phillip Clay
  • Prof. Kim Vandiver introduced the film Underwater Dreams
    Prof. Kim Vandiver introducing the film Underwater Dreams
  • Full house in 10-250
    Full house in 10-250
  • Admissions Dean Stuart Schmill, Prof. Phillip Clay, Chancellor Cynthia Barnhart, and Prof. Kim Vandiver
    Dean of Admissions Stuart Schmill, Prof. Phillip Clay, Chancellor Cynthia Barnhart, and Prof. Kim Vandiver
  • Local high-school students pose with Edgerton staff Ed Moriarty and Roberto Melendez
    Local high-school students pose with Edgerton staff Ed Moriarty and Roberto Melendez
Saturday, October 25, 2014

Campus debut of the film Underwater Dreams and panel discussion draws crowd of close to 400 to Room 10-250

On October 24th, in partnership with the student group, DreaMIT, the Edgerton Center hosted the campus debut of Underwater Dreams, a documentary film about a team of undocumented high school students from the Carl Hayden high school in Arizona who, a decade ago, won a national underwater robotics competition, beating a number of collegiate competitors, including the MIT Remotely Operated Vehicle team (ROV). 

Close to 400 people attended the screening in 10-250, with a closed-caption screening room added in 4-231. 

Edgerton Center Director Prof. Kim Vandiver introduced the film, part of which took place at the Edgerton Center when, about a year ago, the two teams reunited for a conversation in which they looked back at the trials and tribulations of the 2004 competition, paths taken ten years later, and the significant challenges faced by the Carl Hayden alumni due to their undocumented status. The filmed conversation was followed up by a friendly underwater competition held in the MIT Alumni pool.

There were many knowing chuckles during the film given the many references to MIT and engineering.

When the lights went up the panel discussion began, moderated by Professor Phillip L. Clay PhD '75, Head of DUSP's Housing, Community and Economic Development Group and former Chancellor of MIT.

On the panel was Prof. Junot Díaz, Director Mary Mazzio, DreaMIT Cofounders Sofía Campos G. '15 and Jose Gomez '17, and Renata Teodoro, Peer Advisor to DreaMIT and Leader of the Student Immigration Movement.  Discussion focused on issues faced by these students, some of whom, even with an MIT education, face an uncertain future. 

The evening was representative of the support within (and outside of) the MIT community, with notable Institute figures in attendance including Chancellor Cynthia Barnhart, Institute Community and Equity Officer Ed Bertshinger, Dean of Admissions Stuart Schmill, and many more.

Further watching and reading

Watch a webcast of the panel discussion.

The Tech: Young, ambitious, and undocumented at MIT

Admissions Blog: Underwater Dreams by Yuliya K. '18

Slice of MIT: Underwater Dreams

Edgerton Center: Lights, Camera, Inspiration

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Watch a webcast of the panel discussion.