Team Members

Asha Amerson, Rashaun Allen, Ann'Drea Jackson, Taj Robinson, Deaireeon Cole, Malonda Morant-Bey, Doniya Pullum, Makayla Woodson, DeHon Mull, Markus Keys, Alexis Rome, Joe Woods, and Kelci Smith.

Inspiration

We were challenged to use technology to address a problem in our society. Cyberbullying (and bullying for that matter) is and has been a major issue in the life of high school kids. We were convinced that technology's positive side could be used to counter the negative side. We have seen first hand cyberbullying, and the effects it can have on our selves, our peers, and our school. We wanted to make a difference. Standing up to bullies takes courage, and we decided to be BRAVE.

What it does

The BRAVE Project has three major goals: first and foremost, to increase awareness of cyberbullying, and through education decrease its prevalence among high school students; second, to provide an outlet for students that fall victim to cyberbullying to reach out for help through the National Suicide Prevention Network, specifically the Youth Connection Helpline [which provides 24/7 crisis intervention to provide emotional support, referral information and linkage of services for children, youth and their families in St. Louis County. The program is a collaborative effort among Youth in Need, the St. Louis County Safe Place Network, Behavioral Health Response, and the St. Louis County Children's Service Fund]; and third, to provide direct reporting of cyberbullying with screenshot evidence for school administrators, who cited lack thereof was the major barrier in addressing cyberbullying complaints.

How we built it

The final BRAVE app was designed in MIT App Inventor 2 (AI2). In addition to using phone call and text features, it is blended with a google sites page and a google forms page for functionality. It is our hope to eventually move the submission form into the App itself. The "Sign in with Google" is not yet incorporated, and the chat feature is not yet incorporated.

Challenges we ran into

Using a platform that was collaboration-friendly was our first major challenge. With eight different contributors and only one student that had app writing experience, we needed to find a place for the team to work together. We were advised by our WWT mentor to use google sites as an intermediary so that each member could contribute. The second major challenge, as a first-year team, and a school with no course in coding was to learn the MIT App Inventor while trying to incorporate the vision of the team into the App. Our school is taking major steps next year to incorporate these skills into a new class aimed at learning to code. BRAVE will be at the heart of our app design course beginning in the fall of 2018.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

The BRAVE project was a total team effort. In addition to the one student that wrote the code, there were fifteen other students involved from ideation to research to video production. We are proud of addressing an issue that is prevalent in today's society, and truly life-altering. And finally, our team is proud of meeting challenges with resolve and most importantly, that our team has become leaders in our school and community through this BRAVE project.

What we learned

Every experience teaches us something, and through the BRAVE project, we learned valuable life lessons. We learned that sometimes the best leaders are great followers. This is because each of us learns from each other. We also learned that having the ability to voice your opinion in a group is a privilege and not a right, so it’s important to think before you speak so that you don't abuse that privilege creating unnecessary problems. We learned that some people will try to put their voice over yours and that when they do, just listen and let them finish. Keep in mind that when confrontation arises, it’s not a matter of you versus him/her, but it is the two of you versus the problem at hand. We learned that if someone has done something you think is wrong, you shouldn’t angrily confront them, because that’s what causes arguments. Instead, practice inquiring calmly, and try to talk things out.

What's next for BRAVE@JENNINGS

The strategic plan for the rollout of BRAVE over the next school year includes an initial data collection on bullying and cyberbullying at the beginning of the 2018-19 school year to set a benchmark. In September, an anti-cyberbullying campaign and BRAVE App rollout will be conducted. It is also our hope that MIT App Inventor for iOS will be available by then so that we can build a product for the iPhone as well. Then in January, we will collect data through the same survey to analyze the impact. The second campaign in February will follow depending on the results of the survey. And while we will not be able to know the specifics of the impacted students, our administrators will release usage statistics to let our team know if the BRAVE App is being used in a meaningful way.

Acknowledgements

The BRAVE team would like to thank WWT mentor Charlie Harris, school administrators Dr. Key, Dr. Ming, Dr. McCoy, and STEM TEAM Coaches Mr. Sellers, Ms. Draper, and Mr. Reilly.

NB - This acronym has previously been used by Joseph H. Brensinger PS17 (Jersey City, New Jersey).

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