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10-year-old creates homework app

  • Daniel Chao invents an app that tracks homework
  • The 5th grader's app has been accepted by Apple
  • His teacher and a quarter of his classmates now use the app
10-year-old creates homework app
Chao App Calendar
Chao App Email

What was your biggest accomplishment in 5th grade? Maybe a science project or a book review? How about developing an app?

That’s Daniel Chao’s latest feat. Oh, by the way, he’s 10.

HLN affiliate KCNC reports that Chao has created an app called iRead Monthly, which tracks reading homework.  

At his elementary school in Denver, students are required to read a certain number of hours a month at home. Chao’s app lets students log their hours on a digital calendar, instead of an old-school paper one, and e-mail the results to their teacher.

Debi Bestreich, Chao’s 5th grade teacher, tells HLN the wunderkind created the app last summer, after the majority of the students in his class kept losing the paper reading calendars. She says about a quarter of her students are now using the app, and that she uses it to check their homework on her iPad.

“The thing that I find so amazing is that he keeps making changes to the app. He came up to me yesterday and said, ‘I’ve changed it, now it has a timer on it.’ He’s constantly making it better,” Bestreich tells HLN.

The app was accepted by Apple on November 17, 2011. That’s no small feat, and Chao’s parents couldn’t be more proud. According to KCNC, they were both very supportive of him throughout the process. Because of Apple’s age restrictions, Daniel submitted it under his dad’s name. "He followed along. I did most of it. He helped with the contracts,” Chao told the affiliate.

The app is created by Chaos by Design, LLC (clever, Daniel!) and is available through the app store on iPhones and iPads.

As for Chao’s classmates? His teacher says they treat him like any other friend.

“He’s just a normal 10-year-old student. The students are very proud of him, but they’re not really placing him on a pedestal -- they’re still treating him normally,” says Bestreich.

Could we be seeing the next Steve Jobs? Chao told KCNC that would be his dream job. Chao's dad tells HLN his son's already got new apps and games in the works -- so much so, he had to drag him outside just to play in the snow recently.

Best of luck to you, Daniel! 

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