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As the real-life high school robotics coach played by actor and comedian George Lopez in the movie Spare Parts, Fredi Lajvardi is one of the nation’s leading STEM educators and a thought leader on the power of diverse teams to fuel creativity, innovation, and resilience in any organization.
Fredi Lajvardi captivated the country when he led his team of disadvantaged Latino teens in a university-level underwater robotics competition where they defeated leading schools, including top-ranked MIT. Their story inspired the acclaimed documentary Underwater Dreams, the IMAX film Dream Big, and the major motion picture, Spare Parts, starring actor and comedian George Lopez as Fredi.
After the initial waves of media attention died down, the Falcons continued to win awards at STEM competitions year after year. As an award-winning teacher at the Phoenix-area high school for over 30 years, Fredi helped revolutionize STEM education for the school—where the number of students going into engineering and technical fields and the number of college scholarships for those graduates increased dramatically—and nation-wide, as his program’s success inspired similar efforts around the country.
Today, Fredi is the President / CEO and Director of STEM Initiatives for the Si Se Puede Foundation, a prevention and advocacy organization dedicated to providing educational and leadership opportunities and services for underserved populations. With humor and passion, Fredi brings audiences on his inspiring journey, illustrating the importance for all organizations of investing in people and the critical role that diversity plays in building teams that are innovative, creative and resilient.
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I enjoyed your presentation very much, I especially appreciate the number of thought provoking questions you raised. You did us a great service and offered a wonderful catalyst for important conversations. Just attending your session made this a meaningful conference for me. Professional Examination Service
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