Team Big O was started from a simple idea: how could techies improve the living quality of their community using the skills they have? Big O was started with just four friends with a dream to spread awareness about the ecological and social impact that humans have with the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes have played an important role not only within the development of Canada but also its native inhabitants that have lived along their shores far before European settlers first came. The Canadian landscape has always been a source of fascination; the Group of Seven showed its flawless beauty for many around the globe. With the various functions the Great Lakes have played, they have become entrenched within the Canadian identity.

Our goal as inhabitants of the Great Lakes area should be to perpetuate the natural symbiotic relationship we’ve had with the Lakes for many years. However, in recent years this relationship has grown increasingly toxic and harmful for the Lakes, with issues like waste and chemical pollution being provably damaging for them. The Great Lakes support much diversity with regards to flora and fauna; many species that depend on the Lakes for survival have found themselves struggling within recent years. If we as a community do not do something drastic to change the behaviours negatively impacting the Lakes, the irreparable damage will come back to bite us.

At Big O, we believe that change within the community starts from the voices of leaders. As such, we have decided to take leadership in promoting the health of the land we inhabit, and educating the youth about its importance.

What it does

Our project is a website that raises awareness for water conservation and the importance of clean water through the combined use of statistics, facts, and interactive elements such as games and a personal water usage calculator.

How we built it

The front-end uses a careful combination of the Bulma CSS framework, HTML5, and JavaScript to create a minimalist, interactive and responsive experience for users. This enables a seamless experience, no matter what platform is used to visit our website.

The back-end processing and games were built with JavaScript, and functions were called in the HTML files as needed. The document-object model was used to manipulate elements on the webpage to make the page more interactive and engaging.

Challenges we ran into

The syntax of .sass files was difficult to adjust to after being accustomed to the cascading nature of CSS.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We're really happy with the overall visual appeal and functionality of the site. Even if it's a relatively simplistic site (we only had 24 hours to build it), all the components work together smoothly to create a seamless user experience, which is something we are really proud of.

What we learned

Darren: With the vast majority of my prior JavaScript experience being on Node.JS, I learned a lot about how JavaScript interacts with HTML pages dynamically through the document-object model (DOM) in the process of making the games and the calculator.

Akira: I learnt how to work with sass, and also how to be able to use design to accommodate for any shortcomings in frameworks, to deliver a consistent, but effective aesthetic design.

Jonathan: Working on this project has enabled me to learn about all the aspects to working on a project apart from just coding. I've learned about working with others, writing, and time management.

Jeffrey: I have learned that using languages without universally defined types and different standards of deprecation and language is extremely hard to debug and work with, especially across different people and platforms.

What's next for Big O Erie

As we were restricted to a 24-hour time constraint, we would like to add more interactive elements such as games and other tools similar to the calculator to the site to make it more engaging.

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