Everyone is different. We learn at different speeds, study at different levels, and retain different amounts of information. Some of us don't like to ask questions in class when we don't understand, and some others just fly through material. Ideally, we would all have personalized assessments and homework to help us. However, normal standardized schooling often overlooks this possibility as it takes a lot of time and effort for teachers to put together customized work for every student they teach.

Edumame is the solution to this ever-occurring problem.

What it does

Edumame is an educational platform that gives students control over their education by catering closely to every student's individual needs. This is done through the analysis of a student's performance in different subjects during online assessments and the teacher's input. After assessment, teachers are then able to analyze their class and understand where students struggle and are strong. Edumame then gives teachers the ability to create work assignments, homework and exam papers that are aimed at giving students more practice at the things they struggle with while at the same time helping to maintain their strengths. Through the Edubase, teachers can input topics and receive many types of questions related to those topics in which they can choose to export to pdf to use.

Edumame also offers a social platform that allows students to post questions and receive help from their peers in advancing their learning. Through voting and answering questions, Edumame provides the perfect environment for every student to have the same chance at success in a much more augmented way than just traditional learning.

How we built it

We began our project by creating a dynamic web scraper that mines the internet for past exams and practice problems located in PDF files. It also parses the data with the help of a natural language processing API. We built this scraper into the backend of a Meteor app hosted on Digital Ocean with MongoDB for storage. The Meteor app utilizes Blaze and ViewModel on the front end, as well as PDF2Text to manage PDF interactions. In addition, we incorporated the CSS framework Bluma, the JavaScript library ChartJS, and the CSS animation library Animate.css. Finally, we thought it was important to have proper security given that our application is intended for use in education. Therefore, we leveraged Let’s Encrypt to implement SSL on the site.

Challenges we ran into

The very basis of our project presented a massive challenge: how could we possibly gather a sufficient number of questions to satisfy the vast and diverse needs of each individual learner we wished to serve? With a lot of thinking and even more effort, we were fortunate to overcome this challenge fairly early on. However, the challenges did not stop there. Though we successfully built out a complex and effective back end, connecting it to an equally effective front end posed a considerable task. In addition, successfully deploying the site so it would be available for use by learners and teachers around the world was easier said than done. In the end, however, we are grateful to say that we managed to come together and overcome these challenges, and our hack is that much better as a result.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We managed to mine data from the internet from all sorts of exams and pull various types of questions into the Edubase. We also managed to put together a well designed front-end with the little time we had, and we are all very proud of how far we managed to come in such a short time.

What we learned

Art boards are probably the most important things in a complicated hack. especially when you've spent too much time in the back-end. All jokes aside: don't. Get. Drawn. Into. Hackenger. It will ruin your life

What's next for Edumame

We'd like to create pilot programs for specific teachers and students in order to launch Edumame into the learning system. From there, we'd want to incorporate Machine Learning into Edumame after gaining a decent-sized user base in order for Edumame to get to know each student better and make more accurate suggestions of what they can practice and study for. We believe that being motivated to learn includes having control of the material you learn, and that the more one feels in control, the more excited one will be to continue doing what they do.

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