CSEF 2016 CELC Middle SchoolAccording to the Cyberbullying Research Center, over 28% of boys and 40% of adolescent girls report being victims of cyberbullying.   What would you do if you knew someone being cyberbullied?  You might see it affecting whole life, happiness, and wellbeing.

Two girls from CT Experiential Learning Center (CELC) Middle School in Branford, CT decided to tackle the problem head on and developed an Artificial Intelligence based software they named BullyCheck.   BullyCheck is designed to screen for hurtful words and word groups and flag them.

Though BullyCheck is still in its early development stage, the goal according to student Sue Hemingway is “to see BullyCheck on every phone and electronic device”, similar to an antivirus software.  Currently the girls have won several awards for their invention, among them an award from the Connecticut Science and Engineering Fair, along with a $1000 monetary prize, and they have been entered into the Broadcom MASTERS competition, which upon winning includes an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. and prizes up to $25,000.

When I asked Sue what she wanted to get out of BullyCheck, she replied, “to inspire kindness.”

Good luck to Sue and Sophie and the teachers who nurtured these compassionate and intelligent young women!

Cyberbullying Research Center: http://cyberbullying.org/

CT Experiential Learning Center: https://ctexperiential.org/

Broadcom MASTERS: https://student.societyforscience.org/broadcom-masters