Lorenzo Santillan has always been unique since he was born in Mexico which might've been caused by his odd, pear-shaped head. When he was a baby his mom dropped him on his head and he needed better medical attention and his mom came to the United States under the border. Lorenzo struggled in school because he couldn't speak English so he was held back in first grade and people knew that about him and started to bully him and he began to develop anger issues and pick fights. He decided to grow his hair out, he wanted to be different and not like everyone else. After school, he started to help his godfather fix cars but his godfather wouldn't let him do anything but stand there and pass tools and he started to think creatively. But him looking over his godfather's shoulder taught him to think outside the norm.
Carl Hayden Highschool once was a prestigious school that was initially meant to attract white students but it's not the same anymore. The neighborhood and the school itself have an abandoned look and 92% of the school is Hispanic. The administration wanted to entice white students to the school by specializing in Marine science and computer programming which failed. The district gave up and realized there were no white students in the district could attend Carl Hayden and now was 98% Hispanic.
Cristian Arcega grew up in Mexicali, Mexico, and has always not been able to do things that would get him noticed, in a result, he would get bullied and he decided to stay inside and away from the bullies. At four years old he has always been interested in taking things apart and seeing what's inside of them. At the age of five, he announced he was going to build robots and caught his family by surprise. Going into high school he decided to choose Carl Hayden Highschool because their robotics program interested him. walking past this classroom with techno music and glowing lights he goes in to see it was the marine science class taught by Fredi. The next day he joins and finds out that they're building robots by his friend named Hanck and he gets excited.
July 27, 1997, had begun the first police attack on Hispanics that were being labeled as "immigrants." The police had swept through Arizona, searching for immigrants, while countless children such as Cristian and Lorenzo, had begun to worry about other things rather than getting good grades.
Oscar Vazquez was born in 1987 in Mexico to a financially struggling family. When Oscar turned 11 his mother decided to move to the United States with Oscar so he can get a better education. While in school he struggled at first with English but he caught on and became fluent in it rapidly. Now Oscar was a freshman and he was assigned Carl Hayden Highschool and he wanted to fit in. He tried sports but he didn't know how to play anything. However, he saw kids in ROTC training and he has been drawn in ever since. Oscar became a Cadet Major by his junior year of high school and wanted to join the army, there was only one thing stopping him which was that he wasn't an American citizen. By his senior year, he needed to find something else to do with himself. Fredi didn't know what to do he walks into Fredi's marine science class hoping he could get new thoughts.
Fredi Lajvardi was the Marine Science teacher at Carl Hayden and could relate to what many of his students felt. He came to the United States when he was little and was bullied for being Iranian. His coping mechanism for handling the bullying was building things in school which is how he decided to become a science seminar teacher. That's when Cristian Arcega walked into his room wanting to build robots then came Oscar Vasquez, and Lorenzo Santillan wanting new ideas to define themselves.