Upcoming Events: We are very excited that we have seven of our Manos Scholarship students graduating from college in 2021. We will have
more news about them next month.
Brillantes Program (STEM) a Big Success!
We completed our Stem program called Brillantes, developed by Texas State University for our Manos scholarship students. The Brillantes Program was possible due to a grant that the Manos Honduras Ministry received from IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers).
Earlier in 2021, the Manos Scholarship Program started working with professor Dr. Araceli Ortiz and Cindy Rojas (recent graduate from a M.S. in Technology Management) from Texas State University on the Brillantes Program. Since then, Dr. Ortiz has taken a position at the UTSA College of Engineering and College of Education and has continued supporting our efforts in her new capacity. Dr. Ortiz and Cindy developed the Brillantes Program, which is an electrical engineering and algebra after school program for 20 of our Manos Scholarship students in 7th, 8th, and 9th grades. The objectives of the Brillantes Program were:
1) Provide motivating and enriching STEM experiences to underprivileged students.
2) Pilot the program with Honduran students with the potential to replicate the program in other Spanish speaking communities in the US and/or in Latin America.
3) Provide professional development to Honduran educators and facilitators.
We launched the Brillantes Program the first week of October 2021 and continued for four weeks. We held 4-hour sessions on Saturdays at the Manos de Dios Church. We had the best Honduran team implementing the program formed by Prof. Candy Rodriguez (Math teacher from Institute Pedro Nufio), Julio Lara and Kimberly Figueroa (Industrial Engineering Manos scholarship students who served as teaching aides), Cecia Celaya (Logistics coordinator) and Edil Reyes (IT coordinator). Both Edil and Cecia have been part of the Manos Scholarship program since 7th grade and graduated from college with degrees in Computer Science and Psychology, respectively.
On the last day of the program, we held a hybrid event where we had the Brillantes students, parents and team members attending in person and about 30 other students, parents and special guests attending via Zoom. This was a special day, given that we invited three universities in Danli (UNATEC, Católica & Politécnica) to do a career fair for all our students. We had three fantastic presentations from either the president or the director of the colleges. It was particularly inspiring to have Dr. Carlos Moreno, president of the Catholic University and Ing. Ivis (Head of Admissions of the Catholic University) talking about their personal journeys, the learning environment and career opportunities at their university.
As part of the closing ceremony of the event, the Brillantes students presented their exciting final science projects and received personalized certificates of participation and the biggest applause from a room full of proud parents and other students. We would like to thank all the team that made the Brillantes Program possible including Dr. Araceli Ortiz, Cindy Rojas, as well as Prof. Candy Rodriguez and her hard-working support team that helped throughout the process. Also, we would like to thank Peter Baen and Patrick McCarren for their encouragement and assistance during the grant application process. Lastly, we are grateful to IEEE and PCIC (Petroleum and Chemical Industry Committee) for their vision in supporting youth STEM programs such as the Brillantes Program. We are hoping that we will be able to implement once again the Brillantes Program in Danli, Honduras next year.
Brillantes students built a model of a
hydraulic crane applying Pascal's law.
Students watching a video with Dr. Araceli
Ortiz talking about her professional
background and experiences in applying
Engineering and Math in her job.
We can observe how the Brillantes students are working on one of NASA challenges, how to design an impact absorption system
to protect astronauts.
Building a solar oven to demonstrate the conversion of solar energy to thermal energy.
Iveth Rodriguez talking on a pre-recorded
video about her position at the Zamorano
University as an instructor and researcher
and sharing how she utilizes science in her
job everyday. Iveth was part of Manos
Scholarship Program from 7th all the way to college. In 2017, she graduated with a
Master's degree in Agrononomy from the
University of Mayaguez, Puerto Rico.
All Brillantes students received a certificate of participation during the closing ceremony of the program.