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Capstone Project: Digital Divide Silent Auction

Sophie Azula and Kate Morris decided to combat the issue of the digital divide as their senior Capstone. The digital divide is a term used to describe the gap between individuals who have the Internet as a readily available resource and those who do not. Sophie and Kate first learned about the digital divide in the AP Computer Science Principles class at James River. Through continued research, they found that this issue goes largely unaddressed within education systems. In efforts to bridge the digital divide at James River, the two girls introduced ten portable Wi-Fi hotspots into the school library. These hotspots, also called “Kajeet SmartSpots”, are available to all JRHS students to checkout of the library year-round. Their project was aimed at benefiting students without Internet within their own homes.As Chesterfield County agreed to fund their efforts, the girls decided to put on a Digital Divide Auction Night to raise money to purchase more hotspots and data plans as they found that the devices were in high-demand. At their auction night on November 7th from 6-8 PM, attendees were given the opportunity to walk around and bid on baskets of goods donated by local businesses while enjoying complimentary dinner and music. Their night was a success, and they were able to raise over $1,900.

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