San Diego—Who will build the amazing future of our human race? That question sparks a giant-screen adventure unlike any other in Dream Big: Engineering Our World, an inspired tour through the visionary advances made by yesterday’s, today’s—and most thrillingly of all, tomorrow’s—engineers. Dream Big: Engineering Our World is produced by MacGillivray Freeman Films in partnership with American Society of Civil Engineers and presented by Bechtel Corporation. The film opens exclusively in San Diego in the Eugene Heikoff and Marilyn Jacobs Heikoff Giant Dome Theater at the Fleet Science Center on Friday, March 10, 2017.

Throughout human history, engineers have been behind-the-scenes, forging an ingenious variety of life-saving and even civilization-altering marvels. Yet never before have engineers been so vital to humanity or so visible in culture as they are now. Young women and men literally shoot for the stars and bust through old barriers to create a world as vivid as they can imagine.

Dream Big reveals how engineers have changed both everyday lives and entire societies: from the Roman Arch and the Great Wall of China to the International Space Station, underwater robots, wind-defying skyscrapers and pneumatic tube vehicles that might one day zoom at 700 MPH.

Whatever you think engineering is, you’ll probably think again as the award-winning filmmaking team at MacGillivray Freeman Films reveals not only the grandeur but the heart, humanity and optimism that exists within every problem-solving project. For no matter how complex any engineering venture is, the bedrock of every single one starts with the hopes and dreams of real people. The film travels the globe from China and Nepal to Dubai, Australia and Haiti back to Seattle, San Francisco and Phoenix, Arizona. Engineering is a universally shared need. The storylines in the film introduce us to engineers from diverse backgrounds, each excited to ask in their own way: “What cool solutions can we come up with next?”

Dream Big’s eclectic, stereotype-busting engineer cast includes: Menzer Pehlivan, a Turkish-American who grew up wanting to be a movie star until a huge earthquake revealed another way to make a major impact on the world by engineering buildings that keep people safe; Steve Burrows, a curiosity-driven British structural engineer who is a virtual time traveler, using cutting-edge technology to uncover the ancient past in China and construct the future in San Francisco; Avery Bang, who builds bridges in underdeveloped countries, connecting people with new opportunities; and Angelica Hernandez, a Mexican immigrant turned leading Arizona engineer who got her start with her teacher, Fredi Lajvardi, in the legendary robotics club at Carl Hayden High School in Phoenix, Arizona.

The film rises to a stirring, emotional climax as the underdog robotics team, featuring Hernandez and Lajvardi, tries to beat the odds in a NASA-sponsored robotics competition. Their team competes head-on against MIT, Harvard and other elite colleges—pitting their $800, lovingly-built underwater robot named Stinky against far more elaborate machines, with only the sheer power of their ideas giving them a shot. It’s the perfect encapsulation of what engineering is all about: ordinary people finding ways to defy the impossible and change the world, and their own lives, in the process.

Narrated by Academy Award®-winner Jeff Bridges, Dream Big is the first film for IMAX® and giant-screen theaters to answer the call of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) initiative. Dream Big offers a fresh perspective on engineering and aims to inspire kids of diverse backgrounds to become the innovators, educators and leaders who will improve the lives of people across our entire planet throughout the 21st Century.

“Parents and teachers are always looking for ways to turn kids on to science and engineering,” says director Greg MacGillivray, a two-time Academy Award-nominee and chairman of MacGillivray Freeman Films. “With Dream Big, we wanted to bring something new to that effort with an entertaining, visually spectacular film full of stirring human stories that reveal the impact engineers have on our society. We hope it energizes kids of all ages, especially girls, to think about engineering as a meaningful way to help others and leave a positive mark on the world.”

“The Fleet is very excited to offer a film such as Dream Big in the Giant Dome Theater,” said Steve Snyder, CEO of the Fleet Science Center. “Inspiring the engineers of tomorrow to embrace challenges and imagine what can be achieved through science and engineering is a key element of our mission.

Produced in partnership with the American Society of Civil Engineers, presented by Bechtel Corporation and sponsored locally by The Shiley Foundation; Dream Big is a family-friendly film with a running time of 42 minutes.

Dream Big: Engineering Our World opens at the Fleet Science Center on Friday, March 10, 2017, with multiple shows daily. For more information on Dream Big, including show times, please visit:

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Dream Big is available for public screenings, school and group reservations or private screenings. Reservations can be made by contacting the Fleet Science Center directly at (619) 238-1233. For school or group reservations, please contact the Client Services Department at (619) 238-1233 ext. 806 or

If you would like to arrange a private screening of the film, please contact the Special Events Department at (619) 685-5729 or Tickets for public screenings are on sale now at the Fleet ticket counter and at

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Additional Links:

For more information on Dream Big, visit:

For a current film schedule, please visit:

The film trailer is available to view on YouTube:

Press photos from Dream Big are available here:

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To schedule a special press screening of Dream Big or an interview with a representative from the film or the Fleet Science Center, please contact Fleet Science Center Public Relations Manager Nathan Young at 619-685-5743 or

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Media Interviews

The Fleet is pleased to have star of Dream Big, Carl Hayden High School science teacher and leader of the famed Falcons Robotics Team, Fredi Lajvardi, available for interview in conjunction with the film. Please contact Fleet Science Center Public Relations Manager Nathan Young to set up an interview. He can be reached at or at 619-685-5743.

Fredi Lajvardi—Science Teacher, Carl Hayden High School

Faridodin “Fredi” Lajvardi is the program manager for the Marine Science Magnet Program at Carl Hayden High School in Phoenix, Arizona. He has not only been teaching at Carl Hayden for 28 years, but also leading the Falcon Robotics Team, the extracurricular STEM program that has received national and worldwide recognition. In 2004, the team had its break-out moment when students dared to enter the MATE National ROV Championships in Santa Barbara, California—where they beat MIT and other major universities, returning as national champions of an advanced robotics competition that some said they had no business entering.

Lajvardi has received numerous awards for his innovative teaching, including the Science Foundation of Arizona Innovation Heroes Award in 2015, the Cesar Chavez Foundation Leadership Award in 2015, the FIRST Robotics National Woodie Flowers Award winner in 2013, the Arizona Department of Education Teacher Leadership Award in 2009, Carl Hayden H.S. Employee of the Year 2008 and 2012 and the City of Phoenix Teacher of the Year Award in 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009.

Falcon Robotics has revolutionized STEM education at Carl Hayden High School and dramatically increased the number of students who choose to enter engineering and technical fields. Lajvardi continues to advocate for all schools to have an extracurricular STEM program. By showing the youth of today that STEM fields can be fun, exciting and rewarding, Lajvardi believes these programs can help to reverse the science, math and technology deficit that exists across the United States.

See a short YouTube intro for Fredi here:

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You're invited to the Premiere!

Members of the media are invited to join us for our premiere party for Dream Big on Tuesday, March 7, from 6 to 8:45 p.m. We will have a reception from 6 to 7 p.m., with the premiere screening of the film beginning at 7 p.m. and a dessert reception and an opportunity to meet Fredi Lajvardi immediately after the film at 8 p.m. Refreshments will be served during both receptions.

If you and a guest would like to attend the premiere party for Dream Big, please RSVP via the Eventbrite link below. Space is limited. Please RSVP by Thursday, March 2.

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About MacGillivray Freeman Films

MacGillivray Freeman Films is the world’s foremost independent producer and distributor of giant-screen 70mm films with 40 films for IMAX theatres to its credit. Throughout the company’s 50-year history, its films have won numerous international awards including two Academy Award® nominations and three films inducted into the IMAX Hall of Fame. MacGillivray Freeman’s films are known for their artistry and celebration of science and the natural world. It is the first documentary film company to reach the one billion dollar benchmark for worldwide box office.

About the American Society of Civil Engineers

As a production partner, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has been planning, coordinating and promoting Dream Big and its outreach programs since inception.  With 150,000 members in 177 countries, ASCE members engineer the built environment while protecting and restoring the natural environment. 

About Bechtel Corporation

Bechtel Corporation is among the most respected engineering, construction and project management companies in the world.  Together with their customers, they deliver landmark projects that foster sustainable progress and economic growth.  Since 1898, they have completed more than 25,000 extraordinary projects across 160 countries on all seven continents.