We can’t change the past—that’s a fact. But, while certain factors are already established, the future has not yet been written.
Dream Big: Engineering Our World, the latest and most ambitious release from MacGillivray Freeman Films (MFF), explores the role engineering has held in creating the world as we know it and the possibilities it may present moving forward.
The root of the word engineering literally equates to ingenious, and rightfully so.
Rather than just a science and technology film, Dream Big proves to be an almost spiritual work with it’s focus on humanity and the difference it makes in the quality of lives being lived. Math and physics are obvious ingredients, but engineering would not be possible without an incredible faith that trumps failure, devoted tenacity and perseverance, ingenuity, creativity and even compassion.
More locations were visited in the making of this film than any other MMF release, and one of the most memorable—and heart-bursting, weep-inducing—was rural Haiti.
When engineer Avery Bang graduated, she chose to forego constructing state-of-the-art skyscrapers and joined Bridges to Prosperity, a non-profit organization providing cable-stayed footbridges in developing countries.
One little Haitian community has a river separating residents from the local school and clinic, and drownings were all too common. A construction hand who worked with Bang is raising his eight children alone after their mother drown trying to get to the clinic for medicine and, until the footbridge was built, these children crossed the river twice daily right where their mother died just to get to school.
The pedestrian bridges aren’t huge or complex structures, but they make an immeasurable difference in the lives of those gaining access to basic ammenities.
Narrated by Academy Award-winning actor Jeff Bridges, Dream Big is aimed at our newest school-aged generation who will be the ones contending with our biggest challenges like climate change and clean water, as well as creating cities and infrastructure to sustain our burgeoning population. More than just a movie, Dream Big addresses the STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) initiative with hopes of inspiring kids to be experimental and resourceful, use simple approaches to problem solve and, literally, dream big about what could be.
To illustrate the boundless parametres, the filmmakers spanned time, geography and context. We join British engineer Steve Burrows as he discovers the addition of sticky rice to the mortar of the Great Wall of China is the secret to it’s longevity. And explore engineering failures like “Galloping Gertie,” the Tacoma Narrows suspension bridge that spectacularly collapsed in 1940 and has impacted bridge design and science every since.
We take a closer look at the world’s second tallest structure, The Shanghai Tower, and its ingenious twist to survive typhoon-strength winds, before heading to an elementary classroom where students design construction paper towers and test their aerodynamics with fans. The hands-on educational exercise is nothing short of a game for the children and involves as much creativity as critical thinking. Looking ahead, engineers have played their own game to create a pneumatic tube vehicle that travels more than 1,000 km/h.
What comes next is anyone’s guess.
Fri., Mar. 24 – Mon., Jun. 12
Dream Big: Engineering Our World
Telus World of Science,