Experimental Station Web Optimization

The Experimental Station is working to build independent cultural infrastructure on the South Side of Chicago by fostering a dynamic ecology of innovative educational and cultural programs, small business enterprises and community initiatives. TechTeam is implementing a series of optimizations on Experimental Station's website to increase visibility and web traffic from paid (using Google AdWords) and unpaid (search engine) results.

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Experimental Station: Blackstone Bicycle Works Web App

Blackstone Bicycle Works is a community bike shop and youth education program of the Experimental Station. The mission of Blackstone is to provide educational and vocational opportunities to youth from some of Chicago's most underserved neighborhoods. Blackstone is structured as a retail, full-service bike shop that offers an "earn and learn," hands-on bicycle mechanics curriculum to its participants. TechTeam is working to create a web app that would allow students to check-in/check-out when they volunteer their time, an easier hour-tracking method than paper logs. This web app will also include the tracking of the youths' skills and achievement levels. Storing this information with Google Firebase, our team is working on grabbing this data and placing it on their Squarespace website.

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Chicago Justice Project

Chicago Justice Project has been scraping and geocoding news articles for any mention of crime in Chicago for years. They now aim to compare this data with actual crime data so viewers can assess the accuracy of crime reporting in Chicago. To help with this process, TechTeam created a website with two interactive maps; the choropleth map contains geocoded crime data and the other geocoded news articles, while the other map gives the ability to select specific types of crime.  There is also functionality to generate additional data visualizations to display below the maps.

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HourVoice

HourVoice is a civically focused for-profit company that helps hourly workers rate their employers, find better ones, and more. While HourVoice already has an app, TechTeam worked on creating a proof of concept for an “Advocate Workbench” app for analytics. Our team collected data about hourly employers from external sources (such as the city of Chicago), disambiguated employers across different databases, and made a visualization platform to see this data. TechTeam also briefly worked on strategies to combat fake users on the HourVoice platform and wrote a short proposal on this topic. 

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Network 9 Community Resource Directory

We worked with Chicago Public Schools/Public Allies to create the an interactive site displaying resources for schools, students, and families on the South Side of Chicago. We used Derek Eder's Searchable Map Template to implement the map and it's features. The goal of the project was to create a simple and easy-to-use interface that would make the data publicly accessible.

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Green Star Movement

Green Star Movement is a Chicago non-profit that works with communities to create public art around the city to revitalize urban neighborhoods. We created a new website that featured a minimalist design in order to showcase the photographs of the colorful and intricate mosaics from the completed projects. Additionally, we streamlined the application process for volunteers and the registration process for classes. 

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