Encouraging teens to critically think in a safe place
Apoorva M., Mayra V., Nur A., Vee G.
Ponder is an interactive debate chat website that allows students to view our daily philosophical questions. By signing in with their Google accounts, they can then interact with other like-minded users. Ponder is a safe place where teens can express their beliefs and opinions openly with others in order to expand on their debating skills.
According to a workshop done by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, adolescents tend to form the majority of their beliefs between the ages of 13 and 17. However, these ideals are heavily shaped by those of parents and fellow peers, when teenagers should be actively focusing on improving and investigating upon what principles they already believe. Even critical thinking is primarily aimed towards standardized testing!
While students are encouraged to express their opinions in schools, many times they remain unheard or subconsciously adapt to opinions of other students and teachers. This is why Ponder creates a safe place where students may creatively explore their own thoughts and those of others. By interacting with other teens of different backgrounds and viewpoints, students might incorporate a more well-rounded process to forming their future ideas and responses.
While we were initially motivated, our group did struggle through a few challenges. Some that we faced during the development of this project included having a fully functional comments box that takes in a user's input and displays all the replies for the question of that day. Picking a method and way to store replies was difficult, as there were many ways to do so but we were not sure which would be the most efficient. It took a great deal of trial and error, and experimentation with many different coding languages, but towards the end we finally decided on using Firebase to store our data. Through working as a group, we were able to figure out our data storage and fix any minor CSS styling concerns in time to complete our assignment.