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Engineering Change

Have you ever wanted to become an engineer? The new IMAX film Dream Big shows how engineering can improve people’s lives. It teaches viewers how engineers use STEM skills to help the world. The film hits IMAX theaters nationwide on February 17 to celebrate Engineers Week.

The film takes place in locations like China, Dubai, and Africa. It tells the stories of engineers who try to come up with innovative ideas to save energy and help people.

Passion Project

Dream Big was directed by Greg MacGillivray. He has 38 films under his belt, including some of the most successful films ever shown in IMAX theaters. MacGillivray was the first documentary filmmaker to reach $1 billion in worldwide sales.

But how did MacGillivray get into the moviemaking business in the first place? “I grew up at the beach. My first movies were about surfing and the ocean. As time went on, I saw the changes in the ocean, in relationship to pollution and overfishing. So I started making films about conservation of nature,” he told TFK. Now, his films cover a variety of topics, from the natural world to human innovation.

Daring to Dream

One of the engineers in Dream Big is Angelica Hernandez. In high school, she was on a team that beat MIT, a university, in an underwater robotics competition. Now, Hernandez is working to make energy use efficient.

When asked what she felt when her high school won the competition, she said, “It was disbelief, then excitement, and feeling really hopeful that you can achieve more than you think.”

Today, the engineering work she does focuses on helping people use less energy and to save money and resources. “I work with utility companies to promote energy efficiency with their commercial customers, so it’s really trying to push forward all the measures that customers and high-energy users can implement,” she explains.

Engineering is such a good job—you make good money, you get to travel around the world, you get to solve amazing problems and help people,

she says.

The mission of Dream Big is to show people the good that engineers can do in the world. “That was the impulse of making this movie,” MacGillivray explains. “[We want to] explain engineering in a way that will get the kids very excited about it.”

“No matter who you are, or where you are, you can become an engineer,” he adds. “[All you need is] the creative spirit.”

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