MAYFIELD, Ohio — A Northeast Ohio teenager has created a new app to help children from kindergarten to 7th grade learn math in an effective and individualized way.
Mohammad Zoraiz is a junior at Mayfield High School. During the summer, Zoraiz, who learned to code and do computer programming a few years ago, saw a local news article that cited a Department of Education report about schoolchildren losing proficiency during online learning.
“I believe it was third grade all the way into eighth grade, there was significant drops in proficiency, especially in math proficiency over English proficiency,” Zoraiz said.
The app that Zoraiz designed, AchillesMath, earned him an award from Rep. Dave Joyce in OH-14's Congressional App Challenge.
“This app was trying to create an environment that was more entertaining to students because oftentimes they just get bored and just get lost,” Zoraiz said. “And oftentimes they just feel that the content is not at their certain level. So what I was trying to do is create individualized content for these students so that they could learn at their own pace, and basically, because this was geared towards students who might not have an internet connection, I also tried to include some features that would be available even offline.”
Zoraiz said he had been thinking about potential solutions to that proficiency gap, and designing an app was a way he could use his coding and programming skills to “create some kind of difference within our own community.”
“Since pretty much 8th grade, I've been really into programing and stuff like that,” Zoraiz said. “And over time, my skills have developed and I've just learned how to do things, and I have a lot left to learn and in the future, I hope to learn a couple more skills and hope to make this app a little bit better, as well as progress a little bit more.”
The app is in progress, but Zoraiz hopes to get public support for it. He also wants to continue this type of work in the future.
“In college, I hope to go into computer programming and the computer science field, and a lot of the work I want to do is essentially help a lot of other individuals and do a lot of nonprofit work in order to help the communities that are really in need afterwards,” Zoraiz said. “And for the most part, I feel like this app has gotten generally pretty good feedback. A lot of different communities, especially from [Rep.] Dave Joyce, our school district and a lot of other individuals in the community.”
Download the News 5 Cleveland app now for more stories from us, plus alerts on major news, the latest weather forecast, traffic information and much more. Download now on your Apple device here, and your Android device here.