A documentary which chronicles the activities of a group of Calera High School engineering students will premier next week. “Children Changing the World”, which was filmed by Magnolialand Entertainment, will be shown three times next week.
The premiere showing will be held Thursday, November 7 at 6:30 p.m. at the AmStar Theater in Alabaster. This is an invitation only event for the business and industry partners who supported the Calera High School engineering program. The other two showings will be at 10:30 and 11:35 a.m. on Friday, November 8 at the Calera High School Auditorium for students and faculty.
“I am very excited to watch the film myself for I have not seen it yet,” said instructor Brian Copes. “I hope this film will be used to attract business and industry to our area and to grow STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education throughout the state.”
The Magnolialand Entertainment film crew has followed the students for a couple of years, documenting their various projects. Those projects include creating prosthetic legs and Basic Utility Vehicles (BUVs) that were taken to Honduras during the summer of 2012 and donated to the people of the Cloud Forest region. Two BUVs were taken, one of which is now being used as an ambulance by the Clinic of Angels, a nonprofit that provides free healthcare to over 50 communities. The other BUV was outfitted with equipment for drilling water wells. The prosthetic legs, which the students created using Toyota Corolla car parts and adjustable parts from crutches, were used to fit amputees living in the region who don’t have access to prosthetic equipment.
The film will also document newer projects the students have worked on during the past two years, including tandem bikes that are being used by the school’s special education and physical education programs. Another project, which is still in the works, is the conversion of a pontoon boat into a hydro-electric power plant.
“We will be shipping the hydro-electric power plant to Honduras in April,” said Copes. “We will be taking six students back down to Honduras in June to show the residents there how to operate it. Magnolialand Entertainment will be accompanying us on that trip to film it for a sequel to this documentary. We will also be retrofitting one of our BUVs into a school bus. Students there drop out of school as early as elementary school and we want to be able to change that by giving them access to education.”
The documentary will also highlight Calera High School’s involvement as a PRIME Initiative site by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers. Calera is one of 15 PRIME sites across the country, which serve as models to other schools offering or considering a manufacturing education program in their schools.