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SPARE PARTS by Joshua Davis (2015-2016 Book of the Year)

COLLEGE PROGRAMS AND EVENTS​: View PDF version of the Spring 2016, Book of the Year Calendar of Events.

  • STEM Week 2015 (Mon. Nov. 2 - Fri. Nov. 6) - Experience the largest variety of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics events ever offered at Santa Ana College! Week-long activities include student exhibits, guest speakers, documentaries, workshops, discussions and hands-on experiences.
  • Thursday, November 5  Underwater Dreams (86 mins.), 1:00-3:00pm In W-101. Documentary narrates the remarkable persons and true events described in Spare Parts by Joshua Davis, SAC's 2015-2016 Book of the Year. (trailer) Film to be followed by an AB 540/DACA program and discussion.
  • Wednesday, April 13 Underwater Dreams (86 mins.), 3:00-5:00pm in A-210. Documentary of the remarkable persons and events chronicled in SAC's 2015-2016 Book of the Year, Spare Parts by Joshua Davis. (trailer) Moderator: Steve Bautista, Center for Teacher Education Coordinator.
  • Thursday, April 14 Underwater Dreams (86 mins.), 1:30-3:30pm in A-210. Documentary of the remarkable persons and events chronicled in SAC's 2015-2016 Book of the Year, Spare Parts by Joshua Davis. (trailer)
  • Monday, April 18 A Better Life (98 min. feature film), 3:00-5:00pm in A-210. Trying to provide his son with opportunities he never had, a hardworking, Mexican single father struggles to keep his teenage son away from gangs and immigration agents. (trailer)
  • Wednesday, April 20 What Will the Future Be Like? (60 min. PBS documentary), 3:00-4:30pm in A-210. What will further immersion in a digital universe mean for us as people? Which technologies once considered science fiction will transform our daily lives? Many of the technologies that will transform our lives decades from now are already taking shape in laboratories around the world. (view entire close captioned documentary)
  • Monday, April 25 Spare Parts (114 min. feature film), 1:15-3:45pm in D-101. Film is inspired by the true story of four Mexican-American high-school students who enter an underwater robotics competition to compete against some of the brightest collegiate minds of the nation. (Spare Parts Featurette), (trailer) Moderator: Susan Gaer, ESL Professor and CEC Basic Skills Resource Coordinator.
  • Monday, April 25 Underwater Dreams (86 min.), 4:00-6:00pm in A-210 Documentary of the remarkable persons and events chronicled in SAC's 2015-2016 Book of the Year, Spare Parts by Joshua Davis. (trailer) Moderator, Cathie Shaffer, MESA Coordinator.
  • Wednesday, April 27 AB 540 SAC STUDENTS: Struggles & Successes, 1:30-3:00pm in D-101. A student/alumni panel program sponsored by the Counseling Department. Moderator: Maribel Pineda, Counselor.
  • Wednesday, April 27 Spare Parts (114 min. feature film), 3:30-6:00pm in A-210. Film is inspired by the true story of four Mexican-American high-school students who enter an underwater robotics competition to compete against some of the brightest collegiate minds of the nation. (Spare Parts Featurette), (trailer)
  • Friday, April 29 Campus-wide Mini-Catapult Team Competition 1:00-4:00pm in I-201. Click here for Flyer and Guidelines. Everyone is welcome! RSVP is required for students who wish to compete. Send email with "Trebuchet Competition" in the subject line to by Fri. 4-15-2016. Sponsored by MESA, SHPE Club, Engage in STEM and SAC Book of the Year Committee. Moderator, Cathie Shaffer, MESA Coordinator. 
  • Thursday, May 12 Fredi Lajvardi is Coming to SAC! Nationally recognized STEM educator, inspirational robotics teacher, and subject of this year's SAC Book of the Year will address our college community in Phillips Hall. Keynote Address and Q&A Session: 1:00-2:0pm; Book/DVD signing: 2:00-3:00pm. Explore this site for additional information. Sponsored by the Center for Teacher Education, the Teaching Learning Committee and the SAC Book of the Year Committee. Moderator: Steve Bautista, Center for Teacher Education Coordinator.




LESSON PLANS/TEACHABLE MOMENT CLASSROOM LESSONS (a project of Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility)

  • The Politics of Immigration Reform, posted on June 12, 2013, by Mark Engler. "Students explore how the growing power of Latino voters improves chances for comprehensive immigration reform and consider some of the economic benefits of immigration."
  • Student DREAMers and the Fight for Immigration Reform, posted on September 7, 2012, by Mark Enger. "President Obama's recent decision to stop deporting some young undocumented immigrants came in the context of a powerful movement by young people to enact the immigration reform proposal known as the DREAM Act. Student readings examine the new Obama policy and the tireless efforts of young activists to change U.S. immigration policy."
  • Arizona's Controversial New Immigration Law, posted on May 10, 2010, by Alan Shapiro. "Three student readings consider the law, a new poll on immigration policies, and the story of one undocumented immigrant. Discussion questions, a pair-share dialogue, and suggested additional activities follow."


  • Demian Bichir on the Power of Film and Telling the Immigrant Story is a news article written by Steve Fisher and published online in Fusion on January 9, 2014. In this article, Bichir shares that his goal in doing a film like "A Better Life" is to change the way people see undocumented workers everywhere. "I believe in the power of cinema. I believe that two hours can change the way people think." Join us on Monday, April 18, 2016, in A-210 from 3-5:00 pm for a Santa Ana College screening of the film, "A Better Life."


  • The Real People Who Inspired the Film "Spare Parts" Click on the arrow to load and hear Robin Young's 9:25 min. interview with Cristian Arcega and Fredi Lajvardi which aired on Wednesday, January 14, 2015, on Here & Now, (Public Radio's live midday news program), a production of NPR and WBUR in Boston.
  • The True Story Behind "Spare Parts" is a 17:14 min. interview aired on January 30, 2015, and hosted by Ira Flatow, executive producer of Science Friday, a radio show dedicated to increasing the public's access to science and scientific information. In this interview, Joshua "Davis and Cristian Arcega, one of the winning robotocists, join Ira to remember Stinky' -- the team's winning bot -- and reflect on how U.S. immigration policy is affecting the next generation of aspiring engineers."
  • The Cruel Waste of America's Tech Talent, an insightful New York Times OP-ED article written on January 16, 2015, by Joshua Davis, author of the La Vida Robot, the 2004 Epic Magazine article which first reported this story, and Spare Parts, our 2015-2016 SAC Book of the Year.
  • The True Story of How 4 Undocumented Teens from Phoenix, Beat MIT in a Robotics Competition In their January 16, 2015, Fusion news article, Emily De Ruy and Geneva Sands report that "since their victory, the boys (Cristian, Luis, Lorenzo and Oscar) have been featured in magazine articles, a book, a documentary and now a feature film...but (that) the decade that has elapsed since their victory has been anything but easy...not one makes a living designing robots."


  • Who and Where the DREAMers Are, Revised Estimates A demographic profile published by the Immigration Policy Center of immigrants who might benefit from the Obama Administration's Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Initiative, published on October 16, 2012, by the American Immigration Council.
  • The Dream is Now Davis Guggenheim's June 2013, documentary (30:54 min.) narrating the need to fix America's broken immigration system, to grow our economy and to give undocumented youth and their families the chance to earn their citizenship.
  • Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) has since August 15, 2012, allowed hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrant youth to apply for temporary deferrals of deportations and work permits. Four years later, immigrant youth and their families are still profoundly affected by DACA -- a program that was won following months of organizing by undocumented youth that often risked deportation as a consequence of their advocacy.
  • Immigration Policy Center (IPC) is the research and policy arm of the American Immigration Council. IPC's mission is to shape a rational conversation on immigration and immigrant integration, Be sure to explore the ISSUES and RESEARCH & PUBLICATIONS tabs for a large number of resources and special reports.
  • National Immigration Law Center is a national legal advocacy organization exclusively dedicated to defending and advancing the rights of low-income immigrants and their families.
  • United We Dream is the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the nation with 53 local groups, 120,000 members, and an online reach of nearly 2 million people. To date, UWD, along with other national partners, have educated over 100,000 people about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and have helped more than 25,000 people apply for the program and renew through the Own the Dream (OTD) program.


AVAILABILITY OF COPIES The Nealley Library has purchased copies of the book for 2-week loans. Stop by the library Reference Desk to borrow a copy! You may also wish to check Library Links for additional copies owned by local public libraries.

NEALLEY LIBRARY RESOURCES  Search the library catalog for print and online resources related to themes of the book. Students and staff of our college have 24/7 access to ebooks and full-text periodical articles. Please call (714) 564-6708 during our library hours of operation, or stop by the Nealley Library Reference Desk for assistance.


Send your questions or feedback to, or call (714) 564-6717.

If you incorporate this book and/or its themes into your coursework, please complete and return the Assessment of Course or Program Activity Form before the end of each semester.

"Stinky," the robot.


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