2015 Challenge Descriptions

Which of the challenges below are calling to you? Are you drawn to App development, or Drupal, or Wordpress? Do you want to have the greatest impact for the most needy? Read on!

By Team Springfield for Square One

Square One manages between 40 – 50 family care providers who care for children in their own home, in addition to its own facilities.  To be compliant with state rules, every morning, a Square One staff member calls each provider to ask them who is in attendance and who is absent and, if absent, the reason.  This information is then put on a spreadsheet and used by a caseworker for oversight purposes and administrative staff for billing. Square One would benefit from a web-based system to facilitate this data entry.

Gardening the Community (GtC), based in Springfield, is a food justice organization engaged in youth development, urban agriculture and sustainable living to build healthy and equitable communities.GtC believes that in order to build a more equitable food system in the valley we need to have our communities involved in that effort.

SuitUp Springfield is a new community organization focused on guiding the Young Men of Springfield, MA on professional attire and becoming professionally minded.

The challenge is they need to BOTH match inventory and connect with mentors - not only finding them but to actively keep track of their goals and progress with them.  An app can do this!

PV Local First has a website with tons of information on the benefits of shopping, banking, and eating local, plus a directory of local businesses in the area. This site is a bit outdated and disorganized, we'd like help with some improvements:

By Team Greenfield for DIAL/SELF

DIAL/SELF is a community-based non-profit agency that has been serving the youth and communities of Western MA since 1977. We provide a wide array of services that foster youth empowerment and community service. Over the course of the last three decades, more than 35,000 area youth have been served by the agency in Franklin and Hampshire Counties and the North Quabbin Region. Programs include: Youth Services  (TeenLine, Safe Place, Step Program. TeenHousing) and  Community Service Partnerships (ACT Volunteer Center, RISE AmeriCorps Program,Youth Services Roundtable).

The Permaculture Institute of the Northeast (PINE)  increases the resilience of the Northeast region by strengthening the regional permaculture network and increasing public access to relevant education and resources.  We do this by hosting regional events and promoting local projects and courses. We want to build a website to support this work, making it easy to share and find permaculture resources of various types. We need a website to help.

The Lyme Disease Resource Center manages all their contact, donor, and outreach data by hand in Excel spreadsheets. They regularly need to synchronize this database with their Mailchimp contact lists as well as donor information exported from Quickbooks. Currently these syncing processes are done by hand, which is time-consuming and error-prone.

Develop a set of tools (perhaps scripts) that sync these data sources quickly and reliably, and that are usable by people with minimal technology skill. Specifically, an ideal solution would automate the following tasks:

By Team Teen Hackers for Girls, Inc

Kids at the Girls Inc Teen Center in Holyoke would like to have a place to share the things they do at all their great programs with their families and friends. They take photos, make videos, and write about things ranging from economic literacy, health, sports, art, and leadership but have no way to share their creations. They are excited to be able to share their work and hope to convince other girls to come join them!

A web app to allow Smith College to conduct studies on racial bias in police shootings.

Currently, there are completed, ongoing, and planned future studies in the Smith social behavior lab that relate to the phenomenon of shooter-bias, which is the differential rate of errors, based on race, that occur when people make split-second decisions to shoot or not shoot a potentially threatening target.

The Springfield Parking Authority manages many parking spaces but locals and visitors don't always know where they are.  And, with significant construction imminent in the city with the I-91 viaduct maintenance and the MGM Casino construction, finding a parking spot is only going to get worse.

The challenge is to create an app where users can see which lots have spaces and not waste time searching.

Full Moon Girls is a nature awareness & feminine leadership mentoring program rooted in building meaningful relationship with self, each other, and place. Syncing up to a database will assist Full Moon Girls with managing contacts, handling online registration and merging contacts with communications channels - Mail Chimp, Email, and postal mail.