IEEE Foundation Funds Nine Projects

At its March meeting, the foundation awarded grants worth more than US $170 000

7 May 2008

Improving technological literacy through hands-on projects, building amphibious vehicles and robots, and preserving historical artifacts are among the goals of nine new projects receiving grants from the IEEE Foundation. At its March meeting, the foundation awarded grants worth more than US $170 000.

The Palm Bay Charter Technology Development Program in Florida received $4000 to help establish its Technology Student Association, which will develop technology-related projects over the next three years for the charter school’s students, who range in age from 5 to 14. The first project, to be completed this year, will be to build a Lego Mindstorms NXT robot.

The foundation awarded $7245 to Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey, for its Towards University program, in which university representatives will visit high schools across the country, talking to more than 2000 students about engineering and college life. Then 50 students will be chosen to visit the university and participate in labs, workshops, conferences, tours, and games.

The IEEE Project received $30 000 to develop hands-on activities and create electricity and electronics instructional material for the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts of America to meet the scouts’ merit badge requirements. The emeritbadges program, run by the IEEE Richmond Section in Virginia, provides a preuniversity technology education. Activities include staffing booths at the 2008 Girl Scout National Council Session/51st Convention in October in Indianapolis and the 2010 National Scout Jamboree in July at Fort AP Hill in Virginia. The money will also be used to improve the emeritbadges Web site.

A grant of $29 464 went to the Technologies That Connect to Life Contest, a project that encourages members from the IEEE Turkey student branches to address societal problems in their senior projects. In particular, the money will help sponsor a contest that will reward student members whose projects best apply technology to improve the daily lives of people with disabilities.

The foundation granted $20 0000 to the IEEE Lebanon Section to fund its Problem-Solving Web Forum, a vehicle that will enable students and instructors at all levels from around the world to share math and science problems and collaborate in solving them.

The Fayetteville Public Library in Arkansas and the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville received $3000 to organize Solar Bug Tugs, a race of solar-powered amphibious vehicles that was held 26 April 2008 at the library. Eight teams of youngsters ages 10 to 18 worked with university students to design and build the vehicles as a way to increase the youngsters’ interest and understanding of solar power and the field of engineering.

The foundation granted $1200 to the Engineering Exploring Program Robotics Project to fund a team to compete in the Botball Educational Robotics contest in July in Norman, Okla. The project, a part of the Learning-for-Life Exploring program, is intended to teach students ages 14 to 18 how to design, build, and program robots.

The IEEE Morelos Section in Mexico will receive a $30 000 grant for the Robotics Workshop at School. The workshop aims to promote an understanding of science and engineering at schools across Mexico with a “learning through play” robotics project. Morelos Section members will develop training packages for secondary school teachers and their students that explain how to build a robot. Afterward, the section will hold a conference to show off the students’ robots.

The Smithsonian Institution National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C., received a $47 440 grant to complete its Rehousing the NMAH Electricity Collections project. The money will pay for 18 new storage cabinets to house the museum’s electrical artifacts, which include magnetic recording devices and electrical appliances. The collection has been stored on open shelves since the 1960s.

To learn more about the IEEE Foundation or to submit a grant application, visit

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