MAYFIELD HEIGHTS, Ohio — Ohio, like many other states, is seeing significant drops in test scores since the pandemic began. And while leaders in education are working to reverse this "covid slide" - a solution may lie close to home. It is the idea of a Mayfield High School junior, with a mind for math, and an even bigger heart for his community.
Mohammad Zoraiz never met a calculus problem he didn't like. His skills so strong, the Mayfield High School junior skipped a few math grades along the way. And his teachers, noticing his gift for equations, asked Mohammad to help. "Math teachers would often ask me to just help out other students along the way, whenever they need it. And that's kind of what inspired me," he said.
Tutoring and coding classes got Mohammad thinking about another way to help others. But news of big declines in state test scores, convinced the teen his desire to help couldn't wait.
"A lot of individuals, particularly those from disadvantaged communities, without internet, were really taking a hit during the pandemic," he shared.
So, using a free app developed by Google called "Flutter," Mohammad created "AchillesMath," for students in kindergarten through the seventh grade.
The app offers individualized learning paths, and lessons, that set it apart from traditional teaching apps.
In fact, the innovation and ingenuity poured into AchillesMath -- earned Mohammad one of the nation's highest stem awards for students:
a first place in the 2021 Congressional App Challenge, for Ohio's 14th District.
"I was quite excited. I thought this would be a good opportunity to demonstrate my skillset," he confessed.
Community will always be close to Mohammad's heart as he looks to college and beyond. Though, wherever the path takes him, the Mayfield teen's wish is to always provide something in return.
"I really want to, give back to the community through the work I do. Through the skills I learn and hopefully make a positive impact.
You can't get Mohammad's app just yet, but he is working to increase public support for it. And he plans to offer it for free.
Coding is part of Mohammad's future plans and hopes that he can continue to develop apps that help students learn.
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