Ankita Joshi Wins KIDS FIRST: David L. Kirp Prize

BESTie Ankita Joshi has been awarded the 2017 KIDS FIRST: David L. Kirp Prize by the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues at the University of California, Berkeley. The KIDS FIRST prize “rewards students engaged in new or ongoing work that demonstrates a commitment, whether in education or other domains, to creating a better future for children and youth. The award of $2,500 is given to one or more UC Berkeley undergraduates each year.” Joshi was honored, along with her fellow awardees (Arturo Cortéz, Nicola McClung, Camila Cribb Fabersunne and Dylan Bush), at the 2017 Award Ceremony on Tuesday, May 9th, 3:30-5:00 pm in the Heynes Room, Faculty Club at UC Berkeley.

Please congratulate Ankita and join the award ceremony: register for the ceremony here!

The keynote speaker at the award ceremony was Pedro Noguera, Distinguished Professor of Education, UC Los Angeles. He discussed his work on “Writing, Resisting and Research: The Role of Scholarship During the Trump Presidency”.

In addition to being an ME undergrad and BEST tensegrity robotics researcher, Joshi is also Co-Founder and CEO of Māk, a social venture whose mission is to empower urban youth to become designers and innovators. Māk’s  goal is to provide youth with STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) and 3D design skills by connecting them to college students through a training program followed by internships. Māk began as a pilot program for 10 students at Oakland Technical High School in the fall of 2016 and carried out a successful crowd-funding campaign to offer the training to more students next year as an after school program. After graduating in May, Joshi and her team of fellow Cal students have plans to expand to other schools and makerspaces in the coming year, and to build connections to offer more internships to youth who complete the training. Māk has filed to be a California Public Benefit Corporation under the name Acorn Labs, Inc. Alice Agogino is honored to serve on Acorn Labs Board of Directors.