Seven students, ranging from sophomores to seniors, worked throughout the summer to create the app. They hope it will be adopted by other school districts across the region and country and be integrated into classroom curriculum.
An algorithm developed by senior Shomil Jain matches students anonymously from another class or school. Once registered and initial background information is gathered, students can engage in chats where they can exchange ideas and thoughts privately without monitoring by a teacher. Later, in phase two, they might chat in person or by webcam and learn then more about each other's gender, race or ethnicity. The conversations would be part of a teacher's class.
The project has all the markings of a Silicon Valley start-up, and the goal is for the Filos Project to last long beyond the core group's attendance at Los Gatos High. The students have incorporated, and they are seeking nonprofit status with the assistance of attorneys providing pro bono services.
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