2019 Dillon Lecture Series to finish with STEM educator and high school robotics coach

By Bailey Young / Online Editor

For 38 years, Hutchinson Community College has hosted numerous speakers at the Dillon Lecture Series. To finish off the 2019 season, the speaker will be Fredi Lajvardi, a STEM instructor and enthusiast. 

Lajvardi is a world-renowned STEM educator who led a robotics team of disadvantaged teenagers to the defeat of top-ranked schools such as MIT in an underwater robotics competition. 

The team’s victory went on to inspire people everywhere and even resulted in a documentary titled “Underwater Dreams,” and a major motion picture called “Spare Parts,” in which Lajvardi is played by George Lopez.

The team is also featured in a film called “Dream Big,” from 2017. 

A search on YouTube brings up multiple references to Lejavardi and his speeches. In one speech, a Ted Talk X Hong Kong, he uses his humor to become less of a robotics genius and be more relatable, telling of concerns with the students’ presentation and a solution in which tampons were discussed. 

Lejavardi is extremely proud of his team, stating that they’ve consistently been in top rankings throughout competitions and that “[it] is a huge testament to the kids and their desire to want to be the best”. 

In his lecture, Lajavardi will urge audience members to accept their potential and roll with the punches every path seems to hold. He will speak about his journey overcoming challenges and diversity while making the best of every situation.

Lajavardi will speak on Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. in the Sports Arena. Tickets are on sale at www.hutchcc.edu/dlstickets or at the HutchCC campus store located in the Parker Student Union. 

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