Whenever an interactive tool or device is created, there is a lot to learn and accomplish. Having an ability to think conceptually and analytically is essential to generate the initial idea, plan, and stages of development and deployment. When busy high school students Nina Luo and Caroline Kwan decided to create an app for their summer computer class at Coding Minds Academy, they did not flinch in front of the mountain of work that this involved. They chose to invest their precious free time, both inside and outside the classroom, to create an app that has meaning and value for their daily lives.
As cooking enthusiasts who frequently eat out and enjoy discovering new dishes, Nina and Caroline realized they wanted a way to quickly identify customer favorite dishes on restaurant menus. Both were aware of Yelp.com but felt it took too long to read multiple posts and clarify what was worth ordering. So they decided to create an app that could find out the favorite items mentioned in user reviews and then list the top ten restaurant dishes.
Before trying to build the app, they had to see if a similar app already existed, determine if that would actually solve their problem, and then develop a strategy to achieve their goal. They also had to plan the user experience and design the user interface, identify technologies, develop and test the application, and then deploy, brand and market their product. (For a fascinating read, check out their “Our research“document).
For the technical part, they used technologies like Nice soup to explore the web and analyze individual online reviews, Ball to give the data a frame, its own blacklist to filter out unwanted words, and Google natural language processing to analyze positive or negative feelings and sort foods or drinks mentioned in reviews. Then, to determine an evaluation score for the menu items, their program used the Google sentiment analysis API.
Their working app is now available on google play and the Apple App Store, and it allows users to immediately view the top ten most popular food and drink recommendations at the nearest local restaurants or enter a specific restaurant name to see what is recommended. After the post, Caroline and Nina showcased their Dishcovery app at a Web Coding Minds conference to inspire other interested students to invent their own technology projects. In their presentation, they described the process of building the application: the main database, their front-end code, and the user interface of the application. (To see the Coding Minds Academy Speak Here on Youtube.)
Caroline and Nina both give Clairbourn School credit for providing a good foundation for their recent experience building apps at Coding Minds Academy. Caroline shares: “We both started our programming bases in elementary school by coding in blocks on Stripe and Code.org. We realized that the ability to understand and create technological projects [and teamwork] a and will become even more valuable and impactful. There are many components to building applications. Teamwork makes it possible to share responsibilities, increasing efficiency and performance. When people collaborate on large projects like apps, they can easily exchange ideas to stimulate creativity and tackle difficult challenges.
Clairbourn School prepared us to take on challenges and keep working towards our goals, even when our ideas seemed daunting or impossible. In other words, Clairbourn taught us to always have a growth mindset, whether it’s memorizing lines for play in school or improving drawing skills in the classroom. art. We will always be grateful to Clairbourn for showing us how to overcome difficulties and complete difficult tasks. “
Although they have no plans to monetize their app, Nina and Caroline plan to make improvements such as using a faster algorithm to speed up app load time and find a way to clarify non-specific results such as “sauce” or “salad. “But despite these challenges, as novice builders and full-time students, their success in building a working and released app in just a few months is commendable. As their journey of building apps continues, it is commendable. clear that Nina and Caroline are on the right track to developing the skills that lead to promising technical careers and big ideas for the future.
Clairbourn School, 8400 Huntington Drive, San Gabriel, (626) 286-3108 or visit www.clairbourn.org.