him to use. Upon arriving at Bucknell,
one of the first things he did was seek
out 3-D printers. On his hunt he met
Professor Nate Siegel, mechanical
engineering, who invited him to serve
on the committee that designed the
Aldana jumped at the opportunity
and was able to remain on campus the
following summer through a grant
from the Reed Garman Engineering
Entrepreneurship Fund, which required
him to tweak his makerspace idea into
a business framework. It planted the
seed that would become Maker EDU
and provided experience he put to use in
designing the CSIU makerspace.
Jeff Kay, the makerspace project
coordinator for CSIU, says the
intermediate unit “let [Aldana and
Kumaran] lead” their first project. “We
had seen makerspaces, but we didn’t
know how to start one,” Kay says.
CSIU expects its new makerspace
will be used by area school children for
field trips and summer camps and as
a demonstration site for how school
districts might employ their own
While they don’t have another
client yet, Aldana and Kumaran say
they’ve had positive feedback from the
school districts CSIU serves and are
anticipating their next project.
“We’ve tried not to look that far
ahead, because if you start looking that
far, you get lost,” Aldana says. “But it’s
definitely something I want to continue
doing, because giving students this
opportunity is amazing. This work is
really rewarding, not just in the sense
that we’re making money; we’re making
a difference as well.”
To read more about 3-D printing at
Bucknell, go to bucknell.edu/Bucknell-3D.
Opportunities Multiply for Women
If you’re determined to discover the percentage of women who earn
undergraduate degrees in computer science, be prepared for
disappointment. Less than 20 percent do so, according to a 2016
report by the National Science Foundation. (Among Bucknell
students, the statistic is closer to 25 percent.) This disparity leaves
much room for improvement, according to Anushikha Sharma ’ 18,
co-founder of a new group dedicated to the educational and
professional advancement of women studying computer science.
“Our goal is to keep women in computer science,” says Sharma, who
started the University’s chapter of the Association of Computing
Machinery- Women (ACM- W) last spring with Laura Poulton ’ 18.
Sharma explains that introductory computer science classes often have more women enrolled than advanced classes, as
many women eventually leave the program. “We’re hoping that through this organization women can find a place to talk about
issues such as these,” Sharma says.
Fifteen members of Bucknell’s ACM- W had the opportunity to attend the annual Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in
Computing, the world’s largest gathering of women technologists, which was held this October in Houston. The conference
not only showcases the contributions of women technologists but provides networking opportunities for attendees. Funding
from Bucknell Student Government, as well as the colleges of engineering and arts & sciences and the computer science and
electrical & computer engineering departments, enabled Bucknell students to attend.
“Being involved in ACM-W and attending Grace Hopper has given me confidence,” says Poulton, who experienced the
inspirational power of seeing firsthand the progress that can be made for women in the computer science field.
Tongyu Yang ’ 18 appreciates the new organization’s ability to forge connections among students from different class years
within the major. “It’s cool to see first-year and sophomore women interact more,” Yang says.
The chapter’s future goals include developing a mentoring program and hosting events to foster increased involvement in
Sierra Magnotta ’ 18 feels the new group is empowering. “It’s impactful to see my value, to be told ‘we want you,’ and to no
longer see myself as competing with people and not measuring up,” she says. — Samantha Nolle ’ 20
From left: Anushikha Sharma ’ 18, Tongyu Yang ’ 18,
Laura Poulton ’ 18 and Sierra Magnotta ’ 18 are
founding members of new women’s group.