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Neuroscience and Resilience Take Leading Roles at the National ESEA Conference

Attendees at the 2019 National ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act) Conference braved the polar vortex in Kansas City, MO, with temperatures that dropped well below zero on January 30 – February 2. The wind chill may have been negative, but the attitude throughout the Kansas City Convention Center was infectiously positive, with thousands of educators and administrators on hand to learn, engage, and collaborate with one another.

The National ESEA Conference, formerly known as the National Title I Conference, now encompasses all Title federal education programs. Educators and administrators from across the country attended the event – the largest of its kind in the country – and benefited from over 100 sessions and keynotes, including a helpful update from the U.S. Department of Education. Attendees also had the opportunity to explore the exhibit floor featuring the hundreds of the nation’s leading education vendors, suppliers, and thought leaders.

MIND Research Institute was on hand to offer attendees an interactive experience with ST Math, our visual instructional program that builds a deep conceptual understanding of math for students PreK-8.


MIND’s Vice President of Content Creation, Nigel Nisbet, presented on the “Neuroscience of Deeper Learning” on January 31. Nigel asked the audience an unusual question to start: “Can flying fish actually fly?”

It doesn’t seem like much of a math problem at first, but by tossing a pen back and forth across the stage, Nigel uncovered for the audience that flying fish really do a sort of flying or gliding – it’s not as simple as a parabolic motion that you see from tossing the pen up and watching it arc back down to the ground.

This hands-on example offered a peek into MIND’s research on how our brains learn, and how to create active classroom environments that foster student success in the 21st century.

Nigel wasn’t the only expert talking about the importance of neuroscience research. A keynote by Horacio Sanchez offered a closer look into research on self regulation to maximize student achievement. According to Mr. Sanchez, self regulation is key within the academic environment, as it allows students to override obstacles that hinder planning, attention, learning, memory, and coping skills. In fact, he asserted that the lack of self­-regulation is the root of many of the behavioral and academic issues teachers and administrators see in their classrooms every day.

 Social Emotional Learning

Terms like perseverance and growth mindset are always front of mind when we talk about problem-solving and mathematical success using ST Math. But academic success doesn’t happen in a vacuum, and skills like perseverance, resilience, and self regulation impact students well beyond classroom walls.


At MIND, we believe that educational programs can – and indeed should – make a tremendous difference in a student’s social-emotional competencies. It’s not just about increasing test scores and driving academic achievement; it’s about confidence, growth, motivation, and problem solving.

That’s the power of an educational program that is rooted in neuroscience, that is driven by what motivates students to truly learn – not just memorize, collect stars, or customize their avatar. Across the country, ST Math schools are living proof that an effective digital learning program can make a real impact for all learners – whether EL, SPED, or gifted. Learn more today!

We’ll see you next year at the National ESEA 2020 in Atlanta on February 4-7!

 Additional Resources

Liz Neiman

About the Author

Liz Neiman is Vice President of Engagement at MIND, leading the marketing team's plans and activities to promote MIND's initiatives and impact. Besides education and gaming, her interests include music of all kinds (from musical theater to heavy metal), cooking and baking, and fashion. Follow her on Twitter @lizneiman.


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