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Maker Faire Pittsburgh to Draw Duquesne Students, Citizen Science Lab

The Maker Faire Pittsburgh is bringing together more than 200 makers of things digital and physical, from kid inventors to app creators, on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 10 and 11. Among them will be Duquesne biotechnology and biomedical engineering students, as well as Dr. Andre Samuel, director of the public life sciences lab launched by Duquesne and Urban Innovation21 and supported by local foundations.

"The undergraduate and graduate students participating look at the Maker Faire as an opportunity to showcase two of the educational programs at Duquesne," said Dr. Alan Seadler, associate academic vice president for research and biotechnology professor. "For these students, it also represents outreach to our region stressing not only what we are promoting but to encourage high school and younger students in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), particularly life sciences and engineering.

"For my biotechnology students," Seadler said, "this is an opportunity to interest regional high school students in the biomedicine that is a vital part of Southwestern Pennsylvania."

Reaching a diverse community of learners also is critical for Samuel, a University alumnus and inaugural director of The Citizen Science Lab, the city's first public biology-based lab. He will serve on a panel discussing Diversity and Equity in Making from noon to 12:45 p.m. on Sunday in the Education Zone (Nova Place) at the North Side's Allegheny Commons.

Samuel, along with other educators and representatives of the innovation community, will discuss ways to create citywide opportunities for diverse learners and enable more participation in the maker movement by underrepresented groups.

"There is a pressing need to promote interest in STEM," Samuel said. "Only by exposure to hands-on learning can we increase our pool of inventors, scientists, makers-and startups to boost the economy and the development of new technology, medicine and renewable energies.

"The next great scientist is sitting right in our back yard looking for a way to bring dreams to reality," Samuel said. "The Citizen Science Lab is here to provide the resources for that individual."

Since opening last year, The Citizen Science Lab has engaged more than 270 students and adults from a variety of suburban and city communities. "Having residents from such a variety of neighborhoods attend our programming reinforces the notion that lab accessibility is a highly desired asset for the community," Samuel said.

For more information on the event, visit the Maker Faire Pittsburgh website.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.