Inspiration

Our team comprises of members from New York, California, Texas, and Canada. As such, we bring together a wide variety of educational experiences at the K-12 level. One common issue that we noted was the administrative workload that educators must tolerate outside the classroom. One teacher mentioned that it can take up to half of his time. Time which could be better spent on providing individualized support and feedback for his students. From further discussion, we found that in New York, field trips are discouraged largely due to the liability and paperwork that are associated with it. Understanding that regulatory changes can take a while to be implemented, Trip.edu would empower parents to take the lead on providing informal experiential learning experiences with minimal effort. Furthermore, this takes learning beyond the walls of the classroom, reinforcing to both students and parents alike that learning is a lifelong process; there are no boundaries.

What It Does

Trip.edu consolidates all relevant information about learning opportunities offered in the community. Additionally, it serves as a portal for teachers to curate trips relevant to their subject area. Lesson plans, key learning targets, and follow-up activities can also be made available to incentivize and emphasize educational value. Learning takes place in many forms. While auditory and visual learners have an advantage in the traditional classroom environment, kinesthetic learners do not learn best by listening to lectures and watching a teacher solve example problems. Within the constraints of a normal school day, efforts such as acting out Shakespeare, investing in model molecules, and building circuitry can help bridge the disparity. With that in mind, embarking on excursions with a familiar yet different organizational structure can be particularly beneficial for these students. In order to serve many learning strategies, it’s important to use many different approaches to tackle the same topic. By reducing the administrative hassle of planning supplementary activities for both educators and parents, the centralized portal is certain to benefit the learner by focusing on their education.

How We Built It

We used React and Node.js to build the front-end and back-end. We used Twitter’s Bootstrap 4 to make a friendly user interface.

Challenges

At first, the quantity and quality of tools available to us was overwhelming. Nevertheless, we had a concerted effort to remain true toward addressing a problem within the context of education. Rather than assemble a variety of API and tools for the sole purpose of doing so, we attempted to engineer a solution that tackled the problem head-on.

Accomplishments

With a team of widely varying academic backgrounds and hackathon experience, team members were open, accommodating, and friendly to each other. This lead to a fantastic learning experience throughout the weekend.

What’s Next?

Through the use of any relational database, this website is highly scalable. As more venues and content are added, improved search, filtering, and shortlist capability would need to be implemented. Furthermore, a more comprehensive description of each database can be provided, including information such as parking availability, transit options, and food choices.

Second, additional planning functionality can be implemented within the app. A parent or other authorized person can be designated as a chaperone leading a group. From here, interfacing with scheduling tools such as Doodle and the venue itself can allow an itinerary to be solidified among all parties. Tools to aid chaperoning would also be available. This may include attendance tracking, emergency contact info, and pertinent medical information. Venues can give exclusive discounts and special tours through the website, which would have a targeted demographic that met their needs. In that regard, the website can be monetized by selling ad space and earning a commission on bookings. Though not the most glamorous of educational technology, this platform is susceptible to influence decisions in education. As a result, above all, it’s important to maintain trust and integrity with all stakeholders.

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