The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

June 18, 2014

Bucknell faculty members invited to White House Maker Faire

LEWISBURG — Two Bucknell University faculty members were invited to Washington for the inaugural White House Maker Faire, featuring makers, innovators and entrepreneurs of all ages who use cutting-edge tools to bring their ideas to life, the Lewisburg school announced today.

Dean of Engineering Keith Buffinton and Associate Dean of Engineering Margot Vigeant attended the event, part of a nationwide series of DIY festivals produced by the publishers of Make magazine, Bucknell announced.

President Obama, who hosted the first Maker Faire, said the event “celebrates every maker — from students learning STEM skills to entrepreneurs launching new businesses to innovators powering the renaissance in American manufacturing.”

Buffinton called it an honor for he and Vigeant to be invited to the faire. “Through the efforts of many people across campus, Bucknell is clearly becoming recognized as a leader in promoting the maker culture and in offering maker opportunities to our students,” he said.

Bucknell continues to increase access for students, faculty and staff to technology such as 3D printers, camera-equipped drones, Google glass and other equipment.

Also Wednesday, Bucknell launched its Bucknell Makers micro-site and is participating online using the hashtags #NationofMakers and #BucknellMakers. Nationwide, more than 150 colleges and universities took part in the Day of Making.

Bucknell’s expanding maker space network includes the Mooney Lab and the Art Barn sculpture studio. Existing small-product prototyping spaces for makers are the Digital Scholarship Center in Bertrand Library and the Small Business Development Center. Two upcoming locations are the electrical engineering maker space (integrated circuits) and the Craft Center.

“Our approach to creating maker spaces on campus is to broaden the capabilities of and access to existing locations,” Vigeant said.

Bucknell also cultivates the work of students who have never engaged in making in its “Outside the Classroom” initiative, Vigeant said. “We want to cultivate the culture of making and tinkering,” Vigeant said, “and the intrinsic motivation and growth mind-set that accompany these activities.”

The initiative includes short, free workshops on particular making skills, held in Maker Spaces and residence halls. A weeklong skills workshop called BFAB will launch in late August.

For more information on Bucknell’s maker community and initiatives visit bucknell.edu/makers.

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