Youth Science Canada

AI Chatbot Design and Development

Youth Science Canada, an organization set on supporting children engage in scientific exploration, needed a new way to help spark ideas in youth for their STEM fair projects.

YSC wanted to create a chat-style bot that would guide children through the process of generating new STEM fair project ideas. Machine designed and developed a custom WordPress plugin to do just that.

The chatbot was friendly and casual, and asked users three questions:

  1. What type of science are you interested in?
  2. What challenge are you hoping to solve?
  3. What do you enjoy doing?

It then performed one of two API calls. The first was to Google Custom Search, which returned several results from pre-selected reputable sources (schools, research papers, scientific organizations, etc…). The reference material was then displayed to users to be reviewed for new ideas.

The second API call was to one of OpenAI’s natural language models. It used the three inputs from users, formed as a natural language query, and returned a set of STEM fair project ideas appropriate for the website’s user demographic.

The chat bot (named Spark), was launched at the annual Canada-Wide Science Fair in 2023, and was a very welcomed addition to the mySTEMspace website.

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