Inspiration

While girls at Menlo are encouraged to take computer science and other higher level STEM classes, we know that many girls around the country and the world do not have the kind of support from their teachers and parents that we do. If a girl can't take optional STEM classes in school, for whatever reason, we want to provide her with an alternative- a place where she can find resources online to give her the same opportunities her male peers have in school. We hope that with more access to STEM resources for middle and high-school aged girls, women will have equal representation as men in the STEM work force. Females also face adversity and discrimination when in the STEM field, and our website encourages girls to create their own networks with similarly minded peers so they have a support system to go through their high school career. We also hope to connect girls with female STEM mentors so they have someone to look up to.

What it does

Our website provides girls with three main things- access to events, forums, and resources. Once someone signs up, they can post events or announcements, such as upcoming hackathons or internship opportunities, which will be displayed on a calendar. The second tab, the Forum, is a page where girls can ask questions and other girls, or mentors, can respond. The last tab is the Resources tab, which contains links to hand-picked tools and websites to learn about various topics in STEM.

How We built it

We used HTML5 and CSS with Brackets to build our website after taking an hour-long course in CSS from Codeacademy. We also used GitHub to collaborate on our code with other members on our team.

Challenges We ran into

Our main setback in this project was that none of us had any idea how to make a website, even though we had a solid idea of what we wanted to do. We had to take the course in CSS before we could start coding, but even after that, we faced difficulties in creating a website with the layout we wanted. We were able to use GitHub to collaborate, but we had many technical difficulties getting that started in the beginning. Lastly, because of a robotics competition earlier in the day, we arrived at the hackathon later than the other teams, leaving us with less time to design and build our website.

Accomplishments that We're proud of

From being complete novices at the beginning of the tournament to being able to help others at the end, we came a long way in our skills with HTML5 and CSS. We're all very proud that we were able to learn so much and gain experience with coding in such a short amount of time. Also, we worked on a time crunch the whole tournament because we arrived late, and we're very proud of the website we were able to build in this time, given our lack of experience.

What We learned

None of us had done a hackathon before, so it was an incredible learning experience for us. We had to stay up most of the night, working on a project that we didn't even know how to begin coding. This experience tested our focus after a long and tiring robotics tournament, and in turn tested our dedication to our project. We discovered what it took to stay motivated even in the face of challenges, and we even learned a few handy tricks about finding the tools to code what we wanted, such as looking at the page source of various websites. Also, at the beginning of the tournament, we all collaborated on the home page together, which turned out to be less efficient even though there were more people on the same page. It was very tricky to merge all our changes together into GitHub, so we decided to divide and conquer to code the different tabs of our website, working much faster.

What's next for STEMinism

Our main goal is to improve the quality of our pages, as well as include JavaScript to interact with the user as opposed to just a static webpage. Of course, we will have to acquire a lot more skills with making websites to achieve this goal, but given the speed with which we learned HTML5 and CSS, we're optimistic that we'll be able to do this in the near future. As for improving our pages, we hope to have an Events tab that takes into account the geographical location of the user before displaying events in that area.

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