160,000 teens skip school every day because of bullying. 66.6% of gifted kids and teens report being bullied with 46% of gifted bullied in middle school and 27% in kindergarten. Name calling is a top bullying tactic used by kids and teens.
What it does
This standing up for yourself skill puts something in your arsenal to say rather than not say anything which encourages the bullying to continue. Come listen to three comebacks. Say the one that’s best for you then practice with Alexa as the bully and you reacting calmly with a hint of sarcasm your comforting comeback until Alexa stands down.
How we built it
We had a kid hackathon to share Alexa and brainstorm ideas for kids skills. We engaged a doctor to create the skill content. We brought in college students to program the skill and write the conversation. Then kids under the age of 13 were brought in to test the skill and review its features. The skill was developed with C# to carry out a script to help kids practice comebacks against bullies. The C# code was based around chained switch statements so that the user can guide themselves through all aspects and features of the skill.
Challenges we ran into
During the development process, we faced time constraint challenge and knowledge challenge because our goal was to develop the skill in a little of our a week with little to know prior knowledge about Alexa skills or coding in C#. The challenge was overcome by taking one step at a time researching each small task that we were trying to accomplish.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We created a fun, easy, and effective way to learn comebacks when kids under the age of 13 are bullied.
What we learned
That learning new technologies is a frustrating process but with determination and hard work you can learn anything. We also learned how important it is to have a function team environment because when everyone is working at their best ability the problem at hand is solved at a much faster and successful rate.
What's next for StandUpToBullyingAlexaSkill
We want to implement more features where kids can add their own comebacks and also have a feature where it recommends a new comeback each day to kids so they can have a complete arsenal for their everyday lives. Looking farther into the future we want to add Alexa Show functionality and add visual aids that also help kids stand up against bullies.