IEEE Foundation Funds Six Projects: February 2008

The foundation set aside US $121 000 in grants to fund the new projects

7 February 2008

Finding technological solutions to humanitarian challenges, encouraging students to consider careers in engineering, and promoting research in the history of communications are among the goals of six new projects that received grants from the IEEE Foundation. At its November meeting, the foundation set aside US $121 000 in grants to fund the new projects.

A grant of $40 000 went to the Humanitarian Technology Challenge, a new partnership between the IEEE and the United Nations Foundation organized to address technological difficulties that humanitarian aid workers face in the field. The grant is earmarked to help fund the HTC Kick-Off Conference, which is expected to bring together IEEE members and representatives from philanthropic and other nongovernmental organizations and companies to identify the challenges to aid workers.

IEEE Educational Activities received $20 000 to expand the global reach of its Web site TryEngineering.org by translating it into two more languages: Arabic and Portuguese. The site can already be read in Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish. Created by the IEEE and IBM, TryEngineering.org is a resource for preuniversity students, their parents, and their teachers that tries to spark the students’ interest in pursuing the profession. Visitors can read about how to prepare for an engineering career, and they can ask engineering-related questions of experts and play interactive games.

The foundation granted $7320 to support implementation of the Infinity Project at Queen of Peace High School, a girls institution in Burbank, Ill. Created by the Southern Methodist University School of Engineering and Texas Instruments Inc., this yearlong project hopes to interest the girls in engineering and technology by using the Internet, cellphones, digital cameras, and MP3 players to demonstrate how studying math, science, and design concepts can lead to an exciting career.

The University of Western Australia in Crawley received $33 924 to support its Awesome Animations and Animatronics outreach program. The grant will partially fund the program, which was designed for primary and secondary schools in Western Australia. University students and researchers work with the younger students to spark their interest in science by creating animations and hands-on projects involving artificial intelligence and robotics. At the end of the program, the students get to play with robotic dogs programmed by the university students to play soccer.

The foundation also granted $5000 to help fund another preuniversity learning project, Xian Intercity Collaborative Learning, in Hong Kong. Students from the Chinese University of Hong Kong–Tung Wah Group of Hospitals Community College (which offers preuniversity programs) and Xian Union College are preparing to test a new collaborative learning model. They plan to form groups to study the culture and tourism of Hong Kong and Xian, and compare findings via a new Web-based platform called Knowledge Community. If the project is successful, it may lead to the implementation of a similar learning model in other schools.

The foundation granted $10 000 to fund IEEE Region 8’s 2008 IEEE History of Electrotechnology Conference. The event, on 11 and 12 September in Paris, is the seventh conference in a series held by the IEEE History Committee and the IEEE History Center to preserve the history of electrotechnology and recognize scientific and engineering achievements. Engineers, historians, museum curators, and others have been invited to discuss topics such as the history of the Internet, the social impact of technology, and the role of communications in military and civil activities.

To learn more about the grants, or to find out how to apply for one, visit the Foundation website.

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