The radio program, Engines of Our Ingenuity, http://uh.edu/engines/ is a four-minute daily featurette by KUHF 88.7 FM that tells about human creativity and invention. The topics cover the gamut of human creativity -- medicine and machinery, poetry and printing, architecture and airplanes -- the stories circle back on engineering and technology, and also reinforce the message that engineering is interwoven with every walk of life, with every dimension of human invention.
KUHF is now able to provide three full-time digital signals and broadcast, as well as internet-stream, programming in Spanish. The project envisions a sustainable effort that utilizes Engines in Spanish in multiple ways to reach out to the general Hispanic community. The project is being coordinated by the Center for Technology Literacy in the College of Technology at the University of Houston. Dr. Enrique Barbieri and his two collaborators, Professor Aymará Boggiano and Dr. Maria Elena Soliño from the Hispanic Studies Department in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, are leading the effort. They believe that the project goals will help to enrich learning experiences in middle, high school and community college classrooms, and raise awareness of the engineering technology and engineering programs at UH.
Dr. Barbieri expressed his admiration for the long-running program and his long-term plans for the Spanish-language version: "Dr. John Lienhard's Engines of Our Ingenuity is such an icon that it is indeed a distinctive honor for us to work on this project, and we are grateful for the funding from the United Engineering Foundation. We hope to help increase the number of Hispanic students that become motivated to choose an engineering career and decide to pursue an engineering technology or an engineering degree at UH. We also continue to look for additional sources of funding to expand the project and its metrics."
Selected episodes from the Engines of Our Ingenuity database are translated and then recorded at KUHF facilities. The project actually started in 2008 when Aymara Boggiano, approached Dr. John Lienhard with the idea. Since then, on a volunteer basis, about 20 episodes have been translated and will soon be posted online. The plan is to complete 75 episodes by December 2011, and host a summer workshop for a group of teachers in Houston to develop classroom materials that will be available to anyone. The episodes are accessible online at http://uh.edu/engines/episodes-spanish.html.
Funding for the project is provided by the United Engineering Foundation, http://www.uefoundation.org.
The Center for Technology Literacy was founded to help other organizations enhance the literacy of members in various fields of science, technology, engineering and math. The Center has overseen programs including the Coordination of Robotics Education (CORE), training via an Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant, and other Professional Training Programs (SINOPEC). Information about the Center is available at www.tech.uh.edu/ctl.