As high school students, we understand that the clubs we attend reflect both on how we spend our time outside of school and the interests we share. At our school, we have almost 100 clubs, but only 10 or 11 of them are well-known. The rest of them are small clubs that are constantly overshadowed by these big clubs with more members and a larger budget, a discourager for new students who want to try out passions that may not be the “norm”.
We’ve created Yepinn, an engagement tool for small clubs that allows members from clubs to participate in intramural competitions with clubs from others schools. Although we want to make a multi-subject platform for all types of clubs in the future, we are currently focusing in the field of computer science. We were looking for a weekly "learn by doing" challenge that invoked people's competitive spirit and provided an educational challenge while encouraging educational institutions to become more involved.
In addition, we take care of the clubs that join our competitive program. Yepinn also serves as a fundraising tool for other clubs through the idea of entry fees. Ever club that joins a competition pays an entry fee that depends on the length and difficulty of the competition, which can range anywhere from $20-$60. At the end of the long competition (lasting anywhere from 3-12 weeks), the club with the highest number of points wins the entry fee money. The more clubs there are, the larger the jackpot, giving clubs incentive to both add more members and to fight harder during the competition.
Current virtually hosted high school programming competitions focus entirely on syntactical know-how and computer science theory. This is because these are the only two means of objectively quantifying and grading a solution at a large scale. We wanted a type of competition that covered applied concepts, which many high school students could grasp and become enthusiastic about.
What it does
Partnering with high school educational institutions, Yepinn would manage and administer virtual programming competitions with themes that fit with the modern maker movement - things like mobiledev, web dev, UI/UX, etc. Competitions span over weeks and weeks. The winning of these competitions take the initial pool money thereby offering monetary incentives towards winners.
Using a rapid pairwise comparison algorithm to handle judging (similar to the one debuted at MIT and at numerous other hackathons), we are able to almost objectively and rapidly compute a set of scores for projects. The judges are industry professionals who will be able to judge the submissions without bias.
Competitors are able to write and submit their code within Yeppin's web application. Based on the complexity and organization of the code, scores are given towards both individuals and their schools, allowing them to compare their school rankings on a global leaderboard..
How we built it
The entire web application was built on the MEAN stack. We used Ace for our web-based text editor.
Challenges we ran into
Part of this exercise was to become more experienced with the MEAN stack as a whle. We ran into a number of issues regarding managing our routes that took up quite a large amount of time.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
In the past we’ve had trouble efficiently dividing up the work amongst team members. We are exceptionally proud of how we were able to split up the work quite evenly and get as much as we could done.
What we learned
In total we each learned how to create rapid prototypes, create beautiful mockups, work with MongoDB, and build dynamic web applications with Angularjs.
What's next for Yepinn
If Yepinn isn’t fully developed by the end of Pennapps, we plan to take more time to complete the project and start scaling it. We have already contacted a couple high school clubs who would be interested in using a service like Yepinn and would begin to reach out to partners and sponsors in order to help grow our product and further spread CS education among high schools and universities.