Milstein Program student Reza Madhaven '22 is the Head of Tech for rapStudy, an edtech startup founded by Cornell University students which pairs popular song melodies with lyrics that help elementary and middle school students learn about anything from fractions to the scientific method. 

The Problem:

Kids are not engaged in the classroom and this directly affects their retention and achievement. Along with this, falling behind in early education has compounded negative effects on a child’s education through high school/college.

The Question?: "Is  the  RapStudy  platform  effective  for  both  students  to  learn  from  and teachers to teach from"? 

We are creating a music-based educational platform (think Khan Academy meets Spotify) that takes existing popular music and retrofits educational content into the lyrics. We have built a set of exercises around the songs to further aid in the learning process, such as a karaoke feature, a fill-in-the-blanks feature, an annotation feature, and a multiple choice question review feature.

We are already partnered with some schools across the tri-state area, so we can start collecting data on student achievement in the classroom with rapStudy as opposed to without it. We have also started collecting data on reaction to the songs themselves. For the teacher side, we will run focus groups with grade-school teachers and get their input on topics like creating new sets for each of the features, navigating the site, and the music itself. 

Getting teacher feedback, we will be able to make adjustments to the platform that will (hopefully) improve the experience for all teachers and lead to more adoption of the platform, which in turn leads to helping more kids across the country.

Since we have already created the platform, the goal is to continue updating and improving. Outside of the focus groups, our goal for this semester is to grow our number of users to 10,000 (including teachers and students).

Our goal is to keep kids engaged in the classroom and make them excited to learn. In the world of virtual learning, it is getting increasingly more difficult for students to stay engaged and our product will alleviate some of the pressure on teachers to bring energy and focus to their classrooms. Music has also been proven to help with retention of material, so we can help students memorize educational information while having fun.