As part of our ongoing collaboration with Nova University’s Faculty of Science and Technology (FCT-Nova), on October 17, Public Affairs Officer Todd Miyahira and Dean Fernando Santana signed two grants to support programs hosted at FCT-Nova.
One of the grants will support FCT Challenge 2018 edition. FCT Challenge is a competition for pre-university students fostering innovation and creativity in the areas of Science, Engineering and Technology. Specifically, in groups, students will be challenged to present an innovative idea/project or a prototype aiming to improve or solve a scientific, engineering or technological problem. In addition to a monetary award, the winning team is also expected to visit the U.S. and the Embassy will organize a special tour of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center for them as part of the visit.
The second grant supports our ongoing partnership through the American Corner program. The American Corner at FCT-Nova was inaugurated in March, 2011. Since then, FCT-Nova and the Embassy have opened more resources to support the students and community near FCT-Nova, including a “Digital Innovation Center” in 2012, and last year the “FCT Fab Lab – powered by the U.S. Embassy”. At these spaces students and community members can find the latest computers, software, 3D printers, laser cutters and other tools to learn how to design and create new and innovative projects. The Fab Lab concept was developed at the Center for Bits and Atoms (CBA) at MIT. It consists of a set of fabrication tools for rapid prototyping. These tools include: milling machines, a laser cutter, vinyl cutter machines, an electronics workbench, computers and programming tools, supported by Open Source software.
The Embassy is very proud to support both FCT Challenge 2018 and the American Corner. These programs are an excellent example of how the U.S. and Portugal are working together to foster creativity, science and engineering among secondary school and university students and prepare Portugal’s next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs.