According to the CDC, preliminary studies from China, the first country affected by COVID-19 shows that "psychological crisis intervention should be part of the public health response to the COVID-19 outbreak". We're two students who are stuck at home with no remote work, no friends to see, and a lack of motivation. We know we needed something to jump start our quarantine routine so we created Activity Space. There are strategies that can help. “It's important for adults to stay engaged with their work or other sources of stimulation, like reading, hobbies, listening to music, and continuing to exercise,” says Fehon at SRC. “We just need to find ways to build them into our schedule and to be flexible.”

What it does

These activities are not always easy to find, especially now that we are confined in our homes. Activity.Space is exactly that, a space for people to find enjoyable activities that they can engage in alone or with others.
On our home page, we talk about why social distancing is important and acknowledge the loneliness our users may be feeling during this time. We also use Microsoft Azure to create a chatbot that works to help the user find out what kind of activity they'd like to do. We also have activities at the bottom that are dynamically sorted based off of what kind of activity the user is looking for. On our main activity page (Hackathon Activity), we showcase how they can get involved and point them towards different resources. This allows the website to be timeless as it's not a constant change. It also has related activities. On our COVID-19 updates page, we use Google News to pull the most recent headlines to keep our users up-to-date. On our Donate page, it links directly to the WHO fund so people staying at home can help financially support the doctors and medical staff fighting for us.

How we built it

Utilizing HTML5, CSS3, Bootstrap, and JavaScript, we created a website with a simple layout for our users. By using dynamic linking, we gave each of the activities a tag and allow the user to find exactly what they're looking for. Using utilizing Google News API, we were able to pull the most update news into our website. For the chatbot, we used Microsoft Azure chatbot and preloaded the knowledge base with specific keywords to help those that accessed the website and needed to find more resources.

Challenges we ran into

Our initial attempts at using Oracle CEC did not yield the results we were looking for. However, we pivoted into a bootstrap template and quickly moved forward with our idea. Packing in as much value for our end-user within the time limit was also an obstacle. We settled on the most important features we wanted for our users and focused on those.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We're proud of creating something that gives value to people, especially during a tough time in the world. Overcoming the coding and organizational challenges along the way we're also a huge accomplishment as it made us better programmers.
We both learned how to use different APIs like Microsoft Azure and Google News, but also got a chance to what there is to do during this time.

What we learned

We learned that using the right tools for the job is one of the most important rules for success and that identifying pivots is equally important. However, the time spent trying the wrong tools can also yield benefits because we were exposed to the Oracle cloud and the powerful tools it contains. Our knowledge in JavaScript, HTML, and CSS has also increased tremendously in the past 24 hours.
We also learned how to utilize the Microsoft Azure Q&A bot as well as Google News api

What's next for Activity Space

Our path forward will be adding functionality to pull activities using APIs to have a more up to date model for our users. The next step will be to launch the site to our networks and use the feedback to improve the website.


Why Activity.Space? The name says it all, it is a space on the internet specifically designed to help people find the activities that they want.

What if people don't find what they're looking for? The Chatbot function allows the user to communicate with the website, ask questions and receive answers in real-time.

Who created this? Mara Hart is a 2nd year Computer Science major from the University of Virginia. She is the Founding President of the Girls Who Code chapter at the University of Virginia. Omar Awad is a recent graduate from San Diego State University with a degree in International Business management. While professionally he has worked in the program management and data visualization space, his passions are in technology and entrepreneurship.

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