UCF to be Featured on NPR's Science Friday

UCF to be Featured on NPR’s Science Friday

It’s not every day that a national radio celebrity wishes a 12-year-old Florida girl Happy Birthday during a broadcast, but that’s just what Science Friday host Ira Flatow did this week while taping in Orlando.

It’s just one of the surprises listeners will hear when Science Friday broadcasts the show 2-4 p.m. Friday, March 31, on WMFE-FM (90.7).

The popular weekly science talk show airs over public radio stations nationwide. The show explores science and technology in fun ways attracting thousands of listeners. Its Facebook page alone has more than 644,000 likes.

The girl, Annika Emmert,  is a recipient of a free prototype 3-D printed arm that UCF-based Limbitless Solutions made two years ago.

The group began as a student volunteer effort and grew into a nonprofit that has gained international attention for giving bionic arms at no cost to children born without arms. It has given 20 arms to date.

Limbitless Solutions founder, Albert Manero, joined Emmert during Tuesday night’s taping of the show in front of a full house at Orlando’s Bob Carr Theater. Science Friday and its host travel three or four times a year to tape the show, and this was their first visit to Orlando.

Also featured on the show is Stephen Lambert, an associate professor of medicine at UCF’s College of Medicine and one of the lead faculty members creating a cluster focused on advancing prosthetics at UCF. Once fully staffed, this group of experts from diverse disciplines will work on developing the engineering and circuitry necessary to connect the human body directly into smart prosthetics to enhance human capabilities.

Stephen Lambert and Ira Flatow after taping Science Friday.

Lambert joined Manero and Emmert on stage seated on red sofas and gave the audience some insight into the future of prosthetics and later the group answered questions from the audience. Emmert, who lives in St. Augustine with her parents, had Flatow in stitches with her personal stories.

Also featured were scientists from Kennedy Space Center with some fantastic robots, a researcher and troubleshooter who helps astronauts keep fit, and local school children who are aspiring engineers and scientists.

To hear what they all had to say, tune in Friday at 2 p.m.