The new IMAX movie, Dream Big: Engineering Our World is entertaining, educational and inspiring for all ages—and the 3D effects are icing on the cake. The movie is about engineers and aspiring engineers who start with nothing and create something, large or small, that improves people’s lives.
In the realm of big engineering projects, viewers learn the secret ingredient used to build the Great Wall in China that explains why so much of it is still standing today. And what solution did engineers come up with to be sure the tallest building in China could withstand the high winds in typhoons? That building, the Shanghai Tower, has 128 stories and houses 16,000 people.
The smaller engineering projects, in their own ways, are just as impressive and focus on broadening engineering’s appeal to girls and minorities who might not have considered it as a profession.
Determined robotics club students from a Phoenix high school with minimal funding go head to head with MIT and other colleges in an underwater competition. Through a lot of hard work and innovative use of cheap materials they make a clunky looking but functional robot they name Stinky. But in the end it wasn’t their technical engineering skills that solved a problem at the competition, it was out-of-the-box thinking that led them to a cheap drug store product to plug a leak and get their robot functioning again.
CU Engineering graduate Avery Bang is featured in the movie for her work on engineering projects in remote places around the world that have a big impact improving lives. Bang is executive director of Bridges to Prosperity, which built a bridge in Haiti that connects children to a school and residents to a hospital. She spoke at the opening night of Dream Big, reiterating the lesson the Phoenix robotics students learned: the engineering skills may be the least challenging part, the hard part is figuring out how the project can be done with the people and resources available. Bang’s challenges were training local workers, implementing safety standards, and finding materials strong enough to build a safe bridge over a rushing river, but light enough to be carried by local people to a remote location.
Dream Big is currently showing at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science Phipps IMAX theater.