November 02, 2010

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By Kathryn Kopchik

LEWISBURG, Pa. — Nine Bucknell students and their advisers participated in the USA Science & Engineering Festival the weekend of Oct. 23-24 on the Mall in Washington, D.C.

The Bucknell booth, "Robot or No-bot? Featuring Mousy the Junkbot & Friends," featured a game show about what exactly makes something a "robot." The team demonstrated three robots they brought with them and gave away the simplest one, Mousy the Junkbot, in a random drawing.

"The Bucknell team was the only booth running an experience designed, executed, and delivered by undergraduate students," said Margot Vigeant, associate professor of engineering. Vigeant and Kundan Nepal, assistant professor of electrical engineering, accompanied the team to Washington.

"The festival, attended by 500,000 people, was marvelous. We must have spoken to at least 1,000 people - elementary and high school students as well as their parents. We also saw several Bucknell alumni who were excited that we were there."

"The science and engineering festival was a fun way to let kids know what we're all about," said Stephanie Diegel, a senior majoring in electrical engineering. "It was interesting to see how some of the kids were still in elementary school and know that they will have a career in engineering. Others were just now being introduced to the concepts and you could see the light in their eyes as they learned something new. It was a great hands-on experience that everyone enjoyed."

The students who attended were: seniors Oscar Beteta, a chemical engineering major from Ambler, Pa.; Terri Nix, biomedical engineering, Bessemer, Ala.; Werner Parrilla, civil engineering, College Park, Md.; and Stephanie Diegel, electrical engineering, Lutherville Timonium, Md.; juniors Billy Raska, electrical engineering, Bridgewater, N.J.; Ivory Sarceno, mechanical engineering, Alexandria, Va.; Ravi Basnet, electrical engineering, Cambridge, Mass.; and Sarah Storck, computer science, Oakland, Md.; and sophomore Philip Diefenderfer, computer engineering, Mountain Top, Pa.

















(l. to r.) Werner Parrilla, Margot Vigeant, Kundan Nepal, Oscar Beteta, Phil Diefenderfer, Stephanie Diegel, Ravi Basnet, Ivory Sarceno, Billy Raska, Terri Nix, Sarah Storck. The team is pointing to their Mousebot, a light-sensing robot made of an old computer mouse, used in their demonstration booth.

Contact: Division of Communications



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