3.7 million seniors in the US graduate from high school each year and over 2 million of these students feel uneasy or unprepared about college. That’s over 55% of high school seniors! Currently, there is a large gap in college readiness as few high school seniors in the US have decided upon their major and future career goals. But most importantly, students don’t have a good understanding of the college culture and strengths. Moreover, many students lack the foresight and knowledge to understand if college is the appropriate path for them. As a former prospective high school senior, we have had a firsthand experience of this process.
What it does
Our solution to bridge this gap is Clarapulse. We seek to connect seniors to undergraduates, facilitate these connections and aid students in the development of an academic plan. Seniors and Undergraduates are able to connect on Clarapulse and communicate via a video webrtc chatting room in order to facilitate discussions regarding college culture and career goals.
How we built it
We built the mobile app in Flutter for a clean cross platform experience, which communicates with Google's OAuth server through Firebase and Twilio's programmable video API. In addition, we developed a Flask microserver running with Google Cloud Run and auto-deployed on main through Google Cloud Build. We also ran deployed a CockroachDB on Google Compute Engine, which we talk through using Flask.
Challenges we ran into
This was the first hackathon any of us did with just three people, and so delegating and balancing the shared workload was definitely quite the challenge. In addition, none of us had any real experience with using Flutter and so trying to stay productive whilst learning an entire framework tested the patience and strength of the team. At the end of the day, the experience taught us a lot about humility and what it means to create a product purely for the public good.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Flutter allows us to build a cross-platform mobile application and we're able to develop an android and ios app in just under 36 hours. This is the first time Shou was working with Docker and we were able to create a CI pipeline for our dockerized flask server hosted on Google Cloud Platform. Additionally, we had very little experience with Twilio's video web rtc chat rooms which proved to be quite the challenge.
What's next for Clarapulse
We plan to provide a way to incentivize this service for undergraduates by generating ad revenue in order to pay for their time. This will encourage further undergraduates to share their experiences with rising seniors.