Womanvation is the creation of three UNC students that came out of Pearl Hacks 2017, an annual all-female coding competition hosted by Major League Hacking. Recognizing the gender imbalance in STEM and need for social change, the authors – Victoria Miller, Saumya Ray, and Srihita Bongu – wanted to find an easy and organic way to socialize female users with influential women in the field and their accomplishments.

And what could possibly be simpler than stumbling upon a bio of Grace Hopper while attempting to open a new tab for Facebook? Chrome extensions have long been used to augment the browser experience by helping users organize their history, media, and lives in general. This convenient functionality provided the perfect platform to not only educate users about inspiring women in STEM, but also to allow them to add their own personal heroine (a student even!) to an updated database of womanvators.

What it does

Womanvation is a Chrome Extension that brings recognition to everyday women and pioneers in their respective STEM field. With this extension, opening up a new tab in Google Chrome showcases a page that features a "Woman of the Day." It includes their name, field, a picture, and a brief description about them. This page refreshes every day with a new featured woman. We have also created a separate website where people can learn about this extension, our purpose, and also contribute to an evolving database of inspirational and influential women in STEM.

How we built it

Using JavaScript,HTML, and CSS, we put together a chrome extension that reads in a JSON file from the GitHub account. Every time we update this JSON file with new women, every extension will pull that file upon running. We used specific scripts to get the current date and to time the refreshing of the page. This way a new Woman of the Day will show up every 24 hours. We also put together website so that people interested may learn about the extension. Additionally we used the Apache license to make our code open source so that others may help develop it more or customize it to their needs.

Challenges we ran into

Learning how to use GitHub and share work with each other was really challenging. It took us a while to really get the hang of it. Trying to read in the JSON file so that the extension would keep updated without users having to update the extension themselves was really tough. We learned more about JSON files and what they really are. We used developer tools to constantly mess around with our html page in order to get things right which was tricky. Each of us ended up learning one or more languages in the past day to hack this.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are SUPER proud of our extension. It makes us feel empowered and inspired and we hope it will do the same for other women in STEM.

What we learned

We learned Github, JavaScript, HTML, JSON files and CSS. None of us knew all of these things before Pearl Hacks. We have also never truly collaborated with others when creating code and that was something new and fun for us.

What's next for WomenVation

We want to generate more submissions and spread the word so women every where can be recognized by large amounts of people. We also want to encourage young women to use our extension even if they are not in the field to help them know that they are definitely capable!

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