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The Hk Maker Lab is an intense six-week summer program to learn the foundations of design. Focusing on addressing a health problem, students work in teams to prototype and test a biomedical device and develop an associated business plan. The program culminates in a pitch to leading executives from the biomedical community. Winning projects might then be incubated using the state-of-the-art facilities at Harlem Biospace. Read more about the program below or press articles featuring students from the 2014 program.

Applications are open now.


PROGRAM DATES: July 20th – August 28th, 2015

SCHEDULE: 9.00 AM – 5.00 PM, Monday – Thursday

WHERE: Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science at 120th & Amsterdam

WHO CAN APPLY: Current grade 10 and grade 11 students from high schools where more than 50% of students qualify for free/reduced price lunch or you qualify

COST: Free

Class of 2014: Tackling a Global Health Problem

Focusing on addressing a global health challenge, students prototyped a biomedical device and developed a business plan under the direction of Prof. Aaron Kyle. The program culminated in a presentation to executives from the biomedical community. The judges selected two winning teams: VitaLight and Euphoria. The VitaLight team, which included Matthew Chung, Michael Harris, Arif Mahmud, and Nebil Salih, created a low-cost, solar-powered LED light array that could illuminate medical wards during the frequent blackouts that occur in low-resource settings. Team Euphoria, which included Jenny Dong, Mahfuzul Islam, Enkel Prifit, and Ruiqui (Rachel) Wang, designed a low-cost, feedback-controlled neonatal warming device. Both teams will have the opportunity to continue developing their projects over the next year at Harlem Biospace.

Group photo original




Aaron M. Kyle, Ph.D., is Lecturer in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Columbia University. Dr. Kyle is the primary instructor for the three-semester undergraduate BME laboratory sequence and primary instructor for BME Senior Design. He has successfully led students to the completion over 35 prototypes over the past three years. He also works on the development of new courses and teaching modalities for the improvement of undergraduate education. Most recent efforts have resultant in the creation of a novel Bioinstrumentation course, which entails having undergraduate students create a benchtop cardiac pacemaker of their own design. Dr. Kyle has spearheaded the formation of a global health technology program in the BME Senior Design course at Columbia. As a result of these efforts, Senior BME students have worked with clinicians at Mulago Hospital in Kampala, Uganda, on the development of efficacious, low-cost diagnostic and therapeutic devices for improving neonatal outcomes in low resource settings. Dr. Kyle was the recipient of the 2012 Kim Award at Columbia University for outstanding faculty involvement.

Elsa Swanson

Elsa Swanson graduated in May of 2014 with a B.A. from Scripps College and a B.S. from Columbia University in Biomedical Engineering. She spent her senior year at Columbia building a device to detect infection in knee replacements with a team of three other undergraduates called TKAone. Her team was awarded the Columbia University Biomedical Engineering Capstone Award for Top Senior Design Project. Looking ahead, Elsa remains passionate about designing and building medical devices, and hopes to spread this passion by working with the HK Maker Lab!

Morgan Caglianone

Morgan Caglianone is a rising senior at Columbia, pursuing a BS in biomedical engineering, with a minor in mechanical engineering. In addition to working with the HK Maker Lab this summer, she is working with ELiTE Education, another company focused on bringing STEM education to a wider, and more diverse, audience. With ELiTE, she will be running a biomedical engineering program for high schoolers in Cape Coast, Ghana.

Marissa Dreyer

Marissa Dreyer is a graduate of the Columbia University Biomedical Engineering Department who is interested in the development and distribution of biomedical devices. As a senior she helped develop a low cost device to treat postpartum hemorrhage in low resource environments. This device became the seed of Jibon Health Technologies, a company focused on equalizing the effectiveness of healthcare worldwide. She also worked as an engineer at Philips Research North America, helping advance a novel imaging technology. She is excited to draw on her experience to assist with the Hk Maker Lab, and to learn from the class as well!

Keith Yager

Keith Yeager is the manager of the lab in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Columbia University. Keith loves all aspects of design and prototyping. His main interest is in developing new technologies and improving on existing ones. As a mechanical engineer, he enjoys most things that move, and even some things that don’t. He takes a systems approach to problems, while intentionally alternating between divergent and convergent thinking. He is currently thriving in an environment filled with optimistic, brilliant people committed to making a positive impact on the world.


Nicole Moskowitz graduated in May of 2014 from Columbia University, with a BA in Biomedical Engineering, and is returning to Columbia for her MS in Biomedical Engineering this Fall. Nicole also holds a BA in Physical Sciences, with a minor in Studio Art, and an AA in Judaic Studies, from Yeshiva University. During her senior year at Columbia she was a member of lifeART, a design team that developed a microfluidic system to enhance the in vitro fertilization embryo culture. She has TA and tutoring experience in Physics, Mathematics, Engineering Design, and Biomedical Engineering, and is really excited to help out and learn from the HK Maker Lab students