Culture is an important aspect of our lives, as it helps shape our values, perspectives, and ways of living. In our communities, we see a lot of cultural diversity, and wanted to use that to educate one another on different aspects of culture, whether it be skills, traditions, or food. We also wanted to provide our communities with a platform to have meaningful discussions on these cultural aspects.

Given that the theme of this hackathon was Neighborhood Hacks, we thought it would be a great idea to make a hack that we think would impact our neighborhoods best. Since we come from diverse backgrounds (Chinese, Indian, Irish, Egyptian) and live in culturally diverse towns, making a hack to embrace diversity meant a lot to us. Although occasionally in mainstream media cultural differences can be divisive, we wanted to give a platform where users can embrace their heritage and focus on positivity.

What it does

Culture Connect is a community web app that celebrates cultural diversity and allows users to learn about the aspects mentioned above, in a fun and interactive way. The user can create an account and login, which will allow them to interact with other users. There are tabs for both skills and recipes, and 12 cultures are supported. In the skills tabs, users get to select the culture they're interested and learn about the skills possessed by that culture. The recipes tab is similar, but also allows the users to share links to their own recipes for other users. Culture Connect also has a forum where users can discuss their learning and experience with one another.

How we built it

Our website itself was built using HTML, CSS and Javascript. To keep track of the user information in a database, we used Firebase and Firestore. To help us design aesthetically pleasing pages for our web app, we used Figma, Anima and hand drawn images.

Challenges we ran into

Putting all the individual components together to get a seamless website was a challenge for us. Each part of the project was very complex, so it was difficult to integrate everything, especially when putting together front end and back end. The sheer number of web pages we had caused some problems especially if we wanted to make a design change on one page. This typically led to changes on every single page.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We're proud of our platform that encourages and facilitates cultural awareness in our community. We're also very happy with the way our website turned out after having to use multiple softwares for different tasks; it looks as if only one software was used. In addition, this was the heaviest coded website we've ever created. We also have a first tine hacker on our team.

What we learned

We had no prior experience with databases, so we learned a lot about Firebase and Firestore, as well as how to incorporate them into a web app. We also learned a lot about integrating several different components to create one seamless, working website.


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