Crowd Funding Campaign for Māk – STEM Education

Thanks for everyone who helped Ankita Joshi (Mechanical Engineering & BESTie) and her team mates – Michelle Nie (Business), Aubrey Larson (Public Health) and Ashlee Horn (Biomedical Engineering) – achieve their goal of $5,000 for their Māk – STEM Education initiative! They received $5,295 – 105% of the goal. The funds will be used to build a makerspace inside a public space in Oakland and provide scholarships for students participating in this 3D Design and Art program.

Māk (pronounced “make”) is a social venture whose mission is to empower urban youth to become 3D designers and local innovators. Their goal is to provide youth with the STEM and design skills they need to solve important problems facing their own communities. Māk connects high school students to college students through a 3-month internship and 3D design training program  in the summer.  These students will work on real-world projects outsourced by design companies and firms.

To donate go to:

BESTie Ankita Joshi has a long list of awards and engagement with BEST Lab research. In April 2016, her team won 1st place in the 2016 Big Ideas at Berkeley competition, sponsored by the Blum Center for Developing Economies in the Financial Inclusion category.


Ankita is also a talented undergraduate researcher on the ULTRA Spine (Underactuated Lightweight Tensegrity Robotic Assistive Spine) tensegrity robotics project.


Māk was also represented at the Clinton Global Initiative University 2016 conference held at UC Berkeley (Ankita and Michelle are pictured below at CGIU with astronaut Cady Coleman).



Bios of current Māk co-founders (from the Berkeley Crowdfunding site):

Ankita Joshi is a senior at UC Berkeley studying Mechanical Engineering. For the past two years she was worked as a mechanical design engineer for the Berkeley Emergent Space Tensegrities Lab and NASA Ames Research. This past summer she worked as an Impact Design Associate Intern at Autodesk Foundation. Previously, she studied human centered design and its use for social impact through the Berkeley Energy and Sustainable Technologies Lab, and founded a student organization called Socially Engaged Engineers (SEE) which focuses on the use of engineering and technology for social justice.

Michelle Nie is a fourth-year Business Administration major and the CFO of Māk. She is currently a Treasury Intern for Salesforce. Previously, she was president of 100 Strong, a female mentorship organization empowering underserved young girls to become leaders through designing community projects. She was also a Summer Fellow through New Sector Alliance, working on a human resources consulting project for Reading Partners. She has also served as a mentor for CollegeSpring, teaching the SAT to underserved high school students and guiding them through the college applications process.

Ashlee Horn is in her fourth year at Berkeley, studying Bioengineering. She is a Biomedical engineering intern at IPMD, Inc. Previously, Ashlee has worked on projects including bioprinting of hydrogels and making low-cost spirometers. She is also involved in Socially Engaged Engineers (SEE), a club which focuses on merging STEM and social justice.

Aubrey Larson is a recent UC Berkeley graduate with a degree in Public Health with an emphasis on community development. She has worked alongside a number of international non-profit and non-governmental organizations focusing on the intersection of global health and community development in Swaziland and is currently pursuing a career in medicine.