The issue of financial health as a young adult pursuing secondary education in the United States was brought to our attention by the amount of Seniors in our school talking about getting scholarships to pay for college. Many of our classmates often express feelings of uncertainty and fear when planning for their financial future.

What it does

The app simulates the time it takes for a student to pay off debt with real life elements such as sudden expenses, financial investment, budgeting, and personal well-being.

How I built it

We first decided to look for a problem that was prevalent in the United States, we found student debt to be a serious issue. To address this issue we brainstormed several ideas such as a budgeting app, debt calculator, and finally the decided to pitch the idea of a student debt simulator. To gauge the audience of high school students, we created polls on Instagram with a following of strictly high school students and found many people to agree that a game which simulates student debt would help them better understand the concept. We then prototyped the UI & UX in Figma, and mined raw data using Oracle SQL Developer to construct the skeleton of the Android app. We then transferred data from a SQL database into ThingSpeak (IoT). Finally, to validate our product, we showed the prototype to several mentors to seek advice on UI and UX design, and back-end coding.

Challenges I ran into

We spent several hours trying to find a way to code the front end of the an android app. We had used App Inventor before, however we felt that it would not meet the UI and UX expectations of the app, nor reach the machine capabilities we wanted. We then looked at making a web app in App Maker by Google, and found that we did not have access to such a program. To mediate this we looked to make a web app in FireBase but found the nature of the program to be unsuitable for our front-end coding needs. Finally we decided to make the prototype of our app first to make sure we had time to display everything we had conceptualized on paper. As the hackathon came to an end, we realized we did not have enough time to create the app, but decided to demonstrate proof of concept, and research Oracle SQL database, data mining, basic machine learning, and data visualization through an IoT.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

I believe we gained the most knowledge in creating an interface through mentors and workshops. We used color schemes, icons, and shadows to make our app look more modern. The app prototype is really thorough and can serve as a demo without data. Overall the design of the prototype is realistic to a real app that would be on the market, and is usable and simple.

What I learned

We learned how to use Figma really thoroughly, as well as get a concept of what data mining, and machine learning could look like on the small scale.

What's next for Student Debt Simulator

We'd like to implement the prototype through Android-Studio, ThingSpeak, and External Databases such as Firebase. We'd also like to add a personal element of the app, such as a bitmoji by connecting it to Snapchat through Snapkit.

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