Few questions on the SAT create more stress for juniors and seniors than the notoriously difficult vocabulary section. Traditionally, students have been confined to “old-school” methods of memorizing vocabulary words such as creating flash cards, but Mount Vernon Presbyterian School junior Aidan Brady has positively changed the status quo through creating his own iPhone app, “Wordzie,” which teaches vocabulary through games.
Aidan never intended for his app to disrupt the multi-million dollar test prep industry.
The idea for “Wordzie” came into being when Aidan became frustrated with the website his AP English teacher suggested students use to broaden their vocabularies. He attempted to find a multi-player vocabulary game, and after realizing that none existed, took it upon himself to create one.
Despite being a newcomer to the world of iOS app programming, Aidan quickly learned the basics of coding.
“It didn’t take nearly as long as I thought it would to learn Swift (Apple’s new programming language), however, and before I knew it I was hours into ‘Wordzie’s’ development,” said Aidan. “I actually found ‘Wordzie’s’ default list of words on a random Quizlet set, and after a few modifications I wrote a little script to format them in a way the app could interpret. All the code and textures in ‘Wordzie’ are mine, though I did have to do a lot of research to get familiar with the iOS development environment.”
After spending 50 hours working hard on “Wordzie,” Aidan released it to the Apple App Store, where it is available for $1.
Not content to rest on his laurels, Aidan already has big plans for the app’s expansion.
“I already have some content in the works for ‘Wordzie’s’ next big version, including ‘Wordzie Clans,’ or groups that users can join and compete in, and speed rounds where you have to answer as many questions as you can correctly before a timer rounds out,” said Aidan. “Overall, I found it lots of fun to design and develop ‘Wordzie,’ and I definitely plan to release some more apps down the road as well.”
This work ethic leads Aidan’s teachers to predict great things in his future.
“He’s constantly searching for better ways to do things, and he is genuinely interested in sharing his knowledge and ideas with others,” said Aidan’s AP English teacher Meghan Cureton. “I think what makes Aidan stand out from his peers is that he has discovered a passion, and his curiosities about that passion have led him to dig even deeper than most of his peers. Nobody has to tell Aidan to work on his software development or his app creation; he does it because he wants to. Imagine if all students found a passion and learned a new skill that could impact the world right now. It’s certainly possible for everyone, but for Aidan, he makes that a reality. I can undoubtedly say he will achieve great things because he has the perseverance and desire to learn.”
Aidan hopes to attend Georgia Tech and major in computer engineering with a minor in aerospace engineering. He aspires to then earn an MBA and create and manage a computer company.
This article was written by Catherine Benedict, a junior at The Westminster Schools.