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The DSI and DFA Mentorship Program: The Beginning of a Wonderful Relationship

Last Friday, The Barnard | Columbia Design for America (DFA) studio came to DSI to be mentored by our students and begin initial planning for our new collaborative program. With the guidance of a select group of first and second year students, the DFA students will be supported in their journey through the design process.

During the DFA semester, student teams work on self-selected design projects, looking to their local community to assess pressing challenges, understanding user’s needs, ideation, prototyping and testing potential solutions. After a brief introduction on each project, and a chance to become further acquainted, both teams and mentors paired off based on common issues.

The following are the big questions the DFA teams are tackling during their semester:

How can we improve the learning environment for middle schools in an urban school setting?
How can we teach elementary school students the fundamentals of algorithms and healthy eating through a web application?
How can we make it easier for parents going to school to get their work done at home?
How can we use education to reduce recidivism among juvenile offenders?
How can we help under privileged middle schoolers’ experience and feel welcome/comfortable in public spaces?
How can we improve the quality of life of the elderly in New York through physical activity?
How can we tailor the job/internship search experience to reflect the intersection between interest and major?

Our DSI mentors: Karina DavilaMarlyn Martinez MarreroHannah PhangNazli CangonulTanvi KareerKara IsabellaKyle CalianClaire KimRodrigo Muñoz, and Azmina Alimohd are extremely excited to see what the DFA students will do, and be part of this rewarding process.

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