Chattanooga Now 'Dream Big' answers 'the call of the STEM initiative'

Chattanooga Now 'Dream Big' answers 'the call of the STEM initiative'

February 16th, 2017 by Staff Report in Chattnow Movies

Engineering students from Houston, Miss., cross the finish line of the World Solar Challenge car race. Five students from the team will be in Chattanooga on Friday, Feb. 17, for the premiere of "Dream Big: Engineering Our World" at the Tennessee Aquarium's Imax Theater.

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

If you go

› What: “Dream Big: Engineering Our World.”

› When: Noon and 4 p.m. daily, plus 7 p.m. screenings each Friday and Saturday.

› Where: Tennessee Aquarium’s Imax Theater, 201 Chestnut St.

› Admission: $11.95 adults, $9.95 children 3-12.

› Website:

‘Dream Big’ premiere

The premiere of “Dream Big: Engineering Our World” at the Imax Theater is scheduled from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17. Following the film screening, a Q&A session will take place with five high school students from Houston, Miss., who won the World Solar Challenge Race and whose one-of-a-kind electric, solar-powered car is featured in the film.

Afterward, in the Imax Great Hall, Bricks 4 Kidz will have Lego building stations set up for youth to learn more about future fields in engineering. Build a skyscraper, interact with motorized Lego models, or engineer your own invention at the creative Lego building area. Kids will also take home their own mini LEGO car.

Dinner during the film is available with advance registration. Ticket purchasers may add on a boxed meal that includes three Zaxby’s Chicken Fingers, chips, cookies and a medium fountain drink for $8.

Purchase tickets at

The first big-screen film to "answer the call of the STEM initiative" debuts Friday, Feb. 17, at the Tennessee Aquarium's Imax Theater.

"Dream Big: Engineering Our World" is not only meant to inspire a new generation to think about alternative career paths in science, technology, engineering and math, but to challenge moviegovers to reconsider some superlative adjectives, like "fastest," "strongest" or "tallest."

Presented in 3D and narrated by Academy Award winner Jeff Bridges, "Dream Big" celebrates the human ingenuity behind technological marvels large and small and shows how engineers push the limits of innovation in unexpected and amazing ways. From the Great Wall of China and the Acropolis to space exploration, "Dream Big" is packed with epic moments of grand engineering. Audiences will get dizzying views of cloud-tickling skyscrapers and take white-knuckle trips rocketing alongside experimental vehicles.

An engineer performs a routine inspection of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. The Golden Gate is a suspension bridge designed by a team of engineers in the 1930s. Works of grand engineering are featured in the new Imax film "Dream Big: Engineering Our World."

An engineer performs a routine inspection of the...

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

However, one the most-engrossing stories the movie depicts will take place just 39 inches off the ground and at speeds that would barely raise the eyebrows of a crossing guard. Viewers will watch 14 students from Houston (Miss.) High School of Science and Technology as they travel half the world away to compete in the 2015 World Solar Challenge Race in Australia.

Thousands of miles from home, the students pit their solar-powered car, Sundancer, against the perils of a 3,000-kilometer (1,800-mile) race between Darwin and Adelaide. In the end, Sundancer won its vehicle class by covering 1,736 miles — 341 miles farther than the next-closest competitor — at an average speed of about 40 miles an hour.

"In the World Solar Challenge, we compete with extremely expensive cars, built by the best universities across the world, and we are simply a group of high school students with a car that costs less than most of the cars there," says student Malik Lawrence. "After winning our division in the World Solar Challenge, I realized I could accomplish whatever I set my mind to."

Lawrence and four other Houston students featured in "Dream Big" will be in Chattanooga for the premiere of the film at the Imax. They will share their experiences being part of a giant-screen film while inspiring others to dream big.

"Our students realized that they can set, and achieve, really high goals for themselves," says educator Keith Reese, the Sundancer Team adviser. "'Dream Big' is a reminder to everyone that the impossible is really possible; it just takes a determined effort. It also reminds us that no matter where you come from, or what limitations we might have, we are only limited by our own imagination."

The film uses interviews with engineers and thrilling footage shot by MacGillivray Freeman Films to showcase the passion that drives today's engineers in hopes of inspiring the young minds that will solve tomorrow's problems.

"Teachers, museums, and parents are looking for ways to get kids not just exposed to but also really turned on by science and engineering," says director Greg MacGillivray. "We wanted to see if we could bring something new to that effort with an entertaining, visually spectacular film that energizes kids of all kinds, including girls and minorities, to think about engineering as something that might be an exciting thing to do with their lives and their way to make a mark on the world."

The film was produced in partnership with the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Bechtel Corp. and is being presented locally by Wacker. Its premiere dovetails with Chattanooga Engineers Week, which runs Feb. 19-25.