Team Name: sci_chicks
Project Title: STELLAR CITIZENS
URL of Project: https://stellar-citizens.jennifermarti20.repl.co/index.html
Write-Up: Our team, sci-chicks, created “Stellar Citizens” to address the lack of civic education in the United States. The U.S. is a country known to be the melting pot of the world. People from all around the world come to this country in search of a better life. Given this, it is strange that there are so few resources to help immigrants, mostly from non-English speaking countries, understand the U.S.’s history and the rights the Constitution grants. This is true, especially in our community. Miami-Dade County is a majority-minority community, meaning that most people who live here come from diverse backgrounds. Many of the immigrants that came here as adults have no idea what rights they are entitled to. This is dangerous as it destroys the very principles our democracy is built on. There cannot be a social contract if the people inhabiting the country are unaware of the system of government in place. As stated on our website, “74% of a survey group was NOT able to name all three branches of government” (Annenberg Public Policy Center). These statistics were one of the factors that drove us to create our website.
The project was created with immigrants in mind and anyone that needed to freshen their memory of the United States’ laws and fundamentals. Our project essentially compiles essential information that anyone living in the U.S. should be aware of. We first focus is on explaining the history that led to the Constitution being created because we believe it’s easier to understand the material when given the context it was made under. Later, we explained some basic foundations of the Constitution. We added a section for amendments, Supreme Court cases, federal laws, and state legislation for Florida and Missouri with the goal of eventually expanding to all the states. Additionally, we wanted to add the resources necessary to study for the Citizenship Test since our audience might be thinking of becoming a citizen.
Our website addresses community issues by compiling resources in multiple languages on one easily accessible website. We researched each piece of information extensively and ensured that it was the most up-to-date information. Our future newsletter will further expand relevant information and offer more opportunities for people to have their voices heard and be able to improve their community up to their standards. While working on the project, we expanded our knowledge of making a website using HTML, CSS, and Bootstrap. Since all of us come from immigrant families, we were able to ask our parents about their journeys coming to the United States and what they wish they knew before it was too late. Some popular things mentioned include the important figures of the government (both federal and state) and the need-to-know laws and rights. We also learned more about collaboration between a group of young women; we had to split the work and make sure we all liked the progress we made.
The biggest challenge was making sure all the different components of the site were properly aligned and sized. Since the website was created with the intention of it being responsive to various devices regardless of the screen-size ratio, it was important that the content’s sizing and position adjusted to the screen without jeopardizing the visual integrity of the site as a whole. This meant that additional coding time was spent on researching and testing the best combination of HTML, Bootstrap, and CSS to use on a case-to-case basis to achieve the design we had envisioned for the website. For instance, on one specific occasion, we spent a good portion of time experimenting with different methods of centering content like paragraphs or images both horizontally and vertically to ensure it was centered properly. The most rewarding part of creating this project was knowing that this is going to help so many immigrants who aren’t aware of their natural rights. Good people in the works of becoming future United States citizens should know what they are going to be tested on and should know more about what they can and cannot do with their rights in this country. This can prevent so many injustices done to minorities who don’t speak the language or aren’t aware of their lawful rights.