SF State professor Martin Linder on founding iDo

The San Francisco State University professor, who specializes in industrial interface design, founded the iDo Outreach program nine years ago with a team of university students. Last week, this year’s project was unveiled at Thurgood Marshall High School.

What is the focus of the iDo program? The focus is to foster curiosity, promote creativity and build self-confidence in students in underserved urban high schools through hands-on, experiential, project-based learning. IDo is unique in that it develops university students from San Francisco State into mentors.

What does the program involve? Research, ideation, design development, series of drawing and 3D prototypes, innovation and discovering through making. This year, the project was a community bench based on California history. Imagery included the Chinese railroad, civil rights in California and freedom through Alcatraz.

What do the high school students like about the program? Firstly, they discover they are creative so get very excited and committed to learning. Secondly, they get a sense of pride with being able to show and touch something they have designed and made. Lastly, they develop a relationship with the university students and look up to them.

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