We were inspired to create this website because we wanted to give teens who have tested positive for COVID-19 a chance to connect with others like them so that they can get comfort and support during these difficult times. This website also gives teens an opportunity to make new friends while they are quarantined. Whenever we look at other websites, we only see negative and depressing news as well as information. However, through our website, we are trying to offer a more positive outlook during these hardships.
What it does
This website offers a chat room for teens who have COVID to talk to others in a similar situation anonymously. This website allows the user to register themselves with an email and create their own username which is the only name that will be displayed on the website to respect people’s privacy. We also offer a chatbot on our home page which performs a test to determine whether the user needs to be tested for COVID-19 and also informs them if they need to be hospitalized based on their symptoms. It also informs of the severe symptoms of COVID-19 and the symptoms that happen within 48 hours. This website also provides information on the number of cases within the United States and also on ways one can donate their time and money for COVID relief.
How we built it
We used HTML5, CSS3, Bootstrap5, Python, Flask, MongoDB, and an API from Postman API to build a web application.
Challenges we ran into
We developed a chatting application to connect teens from around the world so that they can share their experiences and support each other through difficult times. This time, we used back-end coding with python, flask, and MongoDB to store messages and display them back on screen. Initially, our plan was to use a library called SocketIO but integrating that to our application proved very challenging, ultimately resorting to us choosing a “non-real-time” way, but still, manageable methods of communication. We also tried to use Google Charts to graph the data but due to the time constraint, we were unable to implement it.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are extremely proud of being able to use an external API to gather the latest COVID-19 cases and display it on our website. We are also proud that we have a working messaging service to connect teens around the world in times of difficulty. We are also very proud of our Chatbot, which is an automated machine that is fed with some information, to guide users to determine if they need to get medical care.
What we learned
We learned how to use Bootstrap for styling our website. We also learned how to use python as a back-end programming language, which is able to communicate between APIs, databases, and the frontend. We were very glad to have found FontAwesome, a wonderful tool that provides various mini favicons. During our journey for making the TEENCHAT, we learned that there is always a better way to implement code and improve our application. For example, our chatting application could get an improvement, where we could use SocketIO to increase real-time texting.
What's next for TEENCHAT
For our Chatting application, we would want to enable group chats, have chat rooms, use SocketIO to increase real-time talk. For the Chatbot, we would want to implement artificial intelligence and machine learning to enable more accurate results. We definitely would want to use Google Charts to be able to graph the data that we pulled from an external API. Additionally, rather than just stating a bunch of donations/resources, we would want to learn web-scraping to find the resources on the web and display it on the site.