Through the process of building a catapult and then a robot which they present at the 2004 MATE underwater robotics competition, the Carl Hayden team learns that through the power of imagination and creativity, they can invent something remarkable in the world of engineering and reinvent themselves in life. Along the way, they find camaraderie and ways to overcome the odds.
The Carl Hayden team consisted of Oscar Vazquez, Cristian Arcega, Lorenzo Santillan and Luis Aranda, all of whom are Mexican immigrants who have been picked on at school for various reasons. All were in need of feeling like they were part of something bigger than themselves.
The fact that the team doesn't have much money at their disposal teaches them that in life, creativity can play a big role in getting things done. They manage to raise a substantial sum of money, and, when they need a laser tape measure, they manage to borrow one instead of being required to buy one.
In a nutshell, this group of teens accomplished something amazing in their inventions, and they gradually realized that this would not have been possible without both imagination and creativity. For example, when the team needed to pull a liquid sample out of a barrel, Lorenzo put his creativity to work and came up with a solution involving, of all things, a balloon and a milk carton. Without this creative thinking, they wouldn't have been able to get the project done.