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Trig got you flummoxed?

original carrollwood There's help, thanks to one student.

By AMBER MOBLEY, Times Staff Writer
Published January 18, 2008


Spencer Simonsen thinks academic aid is one thing that shouldn't have to stay in school, at least not inside one school.

Seeing fellow students struggle to find help with class work, homework and test preparation, the Hillsborough High IB senior launched a Web site he hopes will solve the problem.

NoobsHelp.comis a free networking site where students can place a countywide call for scholastic support or offer help to those who need it "regardless of what school they attend," said Simonsen of Original Carrollwood.

Maybe the science help that a Sickles High School student needs is at Leto High.

Or perhaps a Freedom High School French language wiz is willing to tutor a student at Chamberlain.

Simonsen aims to connect them all.

"We have profiles on the Web site where people can program in their classes and what they can help people with. We have a search system on there where people can hook up for discussion topics through the messaging system or in a chat room," Simonsen said.

The home page reads:

Create your own profile

Join groups and schools

Send messages and join chat rooms

Meet new friends

Get help with school work

Help others

It's like Facebook for homework.

Just about 40 students have signed up since Simonsen opened the site to the public about a month ago.

Creating the site took more than four months. "There's a lot of coding," he said.

He's also got more options to add.

"I'm trying to implement a new drawing board," Simonsen said, which might allow a tutor to draw equations or diagrams as visual aids.

He also wants to give users the option of rating tutors.

It all sounds simple enough, but perhaps your inner schoolmarm is wondering: Isn't this making it a little too easy for students to cheat?

Not on, Simonsen said.

"Posting or giving answers to Tests, Quizzes, Homework, Projects or other school work" is strictly prohibited in the site's Terms of Use.

All in all, Simonsen just wants to help as many people as he can.

And by the time he graduates in May, Simonsen will be adding a section on the site "for all colleges in Florida, as well as in the United States."

Amber Mobley can be reached at or (813) 269-5311.

Defining terms

Noob - {noob} noun, slang, def. a person who is new or inexperienced in a subject

[Last modified January 17, 2008, 23:04:59]

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