My name is Alexandra Werner and I’m 13 years old. I’m originally from England but I’ve lived and grown up in Singapore my whole life. I am the creator and founder of MathZAP, and I aim to bridge the academic support gap for Middle School students, like myself.

When I was in 6th grade, I felt as if I wasn’t taking my education as seriously as I could – I wanted to start giving my best efforts. So, I tried to get into the math extension course for 7th grade. When I did, I was so excited as I never saw myself as any other than the average student with average grades.

However, soon after being in this class, I noticed a change in speed and material. I quickly felt as though I was behind. Because everyone else had already been in this class – working at this pace for a year prior – I needed to push myself further and get ahead. 

 I had no idea how to get in and what I needed to learn, all my closest friends had already been in this class placement in previous years and I felt as if asking them questions would make me look stupid, and their work being the work I see most, really raised my own expectations of myself.

For the 2 years in this class, I found it an issue finding easy and accessible resources that I could use for extension work that had the units I was doing in school. When I would search for “Middle school math help” on Google, App Store, or anywhere else,  I never found what I was looking for. If I did, it never helped me understand and practice – or worse, it was paid for, and I didn’t want to pay for something just because it was the only thing I could find. So I just settled for the work I was given at school, which never seemed to stimulate my mind or get me further ahead in my academics. I started to realize that this is likely a dilemma faced by countless other students like myself.

I feel the jump from elementary school to middle school is a big deal in kids’ lives and maturing into a young adult with many more responsibilities. These responsibilities also came with a fair amount of stress. Whether it be, feeling behind, not knowing what to do next, or not knowing how to understand deeper. It’s even harder for the students who can’t find the support from school or at home that they see with their peers.

In this position, I wanted everyone to be able to try to improve and really understand the math they were learning. I’m one of the lucky ones – I owe a large part of this to my teacher for providing me with all the study resources I need. I could also study with my dad, which really helped me take these basic problem sets and try to understand them better. However, I know that not everyone has the money, the time, and someone that will sit with them and go through everything. This inspired me to design an easy-to-use math app for middle school students like myself – I hope to provide an easy shortcut to the best math sets to help reach your full potential in math! 

My app is still in development at the moment, but my plan is easy to follow. 

When you open the app and create an account for the first time, you can take a diagnostic test which consists of basic questions from each of the units I’ve chosen to start with. This will then assess your prior knowledge and see what units you have locked down, are a little confused by, or are struggling in.

 These results will then be put into a “For You” tab where you will have a to-do list of units and problem sets to cover.

There will also be a collaborative discussion page where students or teachers can give feedback and suggest new units or they can upload work they have done in class that they see fit and that is beneficial to other students on the platform. 

The last tab I have planned for my app is a printable page where I will design my own fun math puzzles and worksheets that are able to be printed and worked on either in classes or at home.

In the future, I not only hope to expand to other units, but also venture into other grades and potentially even other subjects such as History, English, and Science.

By creating MathZAP, I hope for middle school students needing support and review to feel inspired like I did when struggling. I hope to make the middle school math community a less intimidating, more accessible place and to make your experience studying easier. 

Keep a lookout for my App on the iOS App Store and on Google Play, coming soon!