V-Card Experience Engine

Click on the image to interact with a demo of V-Card Experience Engine prototype developed at POV Hackathon 3. (This prototype is best viewed in Chrome.)

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Team: Therese Shechter, Ellice Litwak, Cori Schattner, Steven Melendez

About the Project: V-Card Experience Engine is a digital crowd-sourced storytelling project about the myth and meaning of virginity in American culture.

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The V-Card Experience Engine is an interactive storytelling project that empowers our audience to anonymously chart their sexual milestones. After inputting information through a playful Mad-Libs-style interface, they can access data visualizations of the information already collected from our online community. By considering a series of experiences, rather than a one-time virginity loss, the project presents a more diverse and nuanced idea of becoming sexual.


  • Django web framework to maintain and serve pages
  • Google Docs to share presentation scripts and spreadsheets of stories and tags
  • Google Forms to conduct our initial surveys
  • D3.js a JavaScript data visualization library, to create the pie chart visualizations
  • Wordle.com to create prototype text visualizations
  • jQuery for basic JavaScript page manipulation
  • Free services from Github and Dropbox to store source code and let the designer and developer share version-controlled files
  • Free cloud-based web hosting from Heroku to serve our webpages and database
  • jQuery for basic JavaScript page manipulation
  • R, the statistical programming environment, to generate quick initial graphs of the survey data and find interesting stories to demonstrate
Ellice Litwak (Photo: Therese Shechter)

Ellice Litwak is interested in exploring the areas between autobiography and fiction. For the last three years, she has contributed her writing, editing and research expertise to How to Lose Your Virginity. In addition to this documentary project, Ellice works for a New York-based LGBTQ Jewish organization.

Steven Melendez (Photo: Casey de Pont/WNYC)

Steven Melendez is a programmer-journalist on the data news team at WNYC. Having previously worked as a developer and reporter, he holds an MS in journalism from Northwestern University and a BA in computer science from Harvard University.

» Company Website
» Follow @smelendez on Twitter

Cori Schattner (Photo: Rochelle Schattner)

Cori Schattner is an interactive designer, product manager, strategist, and multimedia raconteur. She has executed award-winning interactive TV applications for brands including Lipton and AXE. Currently she’s responsible for architecting a supply flow for integrating eBook-based learning into K-12 classrooms.

» Follow @CoriSchattner on Twitter

Therese Shechter (Photo: Jason Webber)

Therese Shechter fuses humor-spiked, personal narrative with grassroots activism to make award-winning documentaries such as I Was A Teenage Feminist and How I Learned to Speak Turkish. Her films and writings have appeared worldwide, and she’s spoken at venues as diverse as Harvard University and Galapagos Art Space.

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Published by

POV Staff
POV (a cinema term for "point of view") is television's longest-running showcase for independent non-fiction films. POV premieres 14-16 of the best, boldest and most innovative programs every year on PBS. Since 1988, POV has presented over 400 films to public television audiences across the country. POV films are known for their intimacy, their unforgettable storytelling and their timeliness, putting a human face on contemporary social issues.