Inspiration

Early childhood classroom interactions have a tremendous influence on the students’ future aspirations and motivations. Good teachers can change their students' lives. Yet concurrently, teachers’ implicit biases can discourage students as well. Studies have shown that gender stereotypes negatively affect girls’ math grades and positively affecting boys’. Teachers are found to “spend up to two thirds of their time talking to male students,” and prompting boys for answer more (Chemaly). RisEd envisions a fair and empowering educational future where all students are encouraged to be inquisitive.

What it does

To combat biases and favoritism, our program picks a student to be called on after students indicates their interest in the question by pressing their individual button on the Arduino. After the teacher poses a question, students will have a few seconds to decide to answer or not (The blue teacher LED light would be on during this period). The program then retrieves the data from students, and compares it to the existing database containing students’ response rates. Based on previous participation rates, the program returns the student that has been called on the least. The chosen student's LED will light up to signal the student to go forward with their answer. The database is updated as students press buttons and answer questions. The teacher would also be able to view a bar graph of with students' participation rates. Both the numbers of time a student has been called on and the number of times a student has indicated interest but did not get called on would be included in the stack bar graph. The graph aims at giving teachers more insights at the overall participation of their students to focus their attention on students who may not be feeling comfortable with the material. This could also be used as a reference for assigning participation grades, instead of relying on teachers' memory of the students' participation.

How I built it

I used the firmata python library to control an Arduino with a circuit that I designed. The database is stored on firestore/firebase, and I used plotly to display the graphs of students' participation.

Challenges I ran into

I was unfamiliar with promise in Node.js, and could not retrieve data for display in my graph for a while.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

Working with firmata + Node.js for the first time!

Further reading regarding teachers' biases

Chemaly, Soraya. “New Reports Reveal How Teachers' Hidden Biases Are Hurting Our Girls.” Time, Time, 12 Feb. 2015, https://time.com/3705454/teachers-biases-girls-education/.

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