MIND is one of 15 ed tech companies awarded funding through the NewSchools Ignite Early Learning Challenge. Each cohort member is committed to create or expand an innovative ed tech product to help millions of students across the country in PreK-2nd grade. In addition to the funding, NewSchools will provide management assistance and create a community of practice for the cohort members.
As part of this cohort, MIND will delve into the student gameplay in grades Pre-K-1 of its visual instructional program, ST Math. The goal is to report insights for Pre-K-1 students that ST Math quizzes already provide in grades 2 and up.
MIND Research Institute Chief Data Science Officer Andrew Coulson talked about the challenge of assessing early learners through traditional means, and how MIND would be taking on that challenge.
“We’re delighted to join the NewSchools Venture Fund Ignite community of providers in this Early Learning research cohort,” stated Coulson. “For 4-year-olds, measuring math knowledge and gains with online quizzes presents a challenge due to age and language. We intend to explore measuring it by having students play their way through our non-language-based, visual interactive puzzles as they win, fail, see informative feedback, and learn.”
MIND Research Institute Vice President of Product Matthew Feldmann highlighted the need to provide high quality educational experiences to young learners in order to narrow the school readiness gap.
“We developed and launched our ST Math Early Learning program for Pre-Kindergarten and Transitional Kindergarten students in response to this growing need,” Feldmann explained. “The support from NewSchools Venture Fund acknowledges this growing need and the role ST Math can play in closing the school readiness gap.”
While choosing members of the research cohort, NewSchools gathered input directly from the education community. “NewSchools Ignite is rooted in research, and we always start by talking to people in the field who are doing this work,” said Tonika Cheek Clayton, managing partner, NewSchools Venture Fund. “We heard from both educators and ed tech developers about the lack of high-quality tools to support academic and social development for young students. They also emphasized the importance of limiting the hours spent on devices and promoting interaction with parents and teachers. Given the importance of these early years, NewSchools Ignite is thrilled to invest in MIND Research Institute to develop engaging tools to reimagine early learning.”
MIND Research Institute is a neuroscience and education social impact organization, dedicated to ensuring that all students are mathematically equipped to solve the world’s most challenging problems. MIND is the creator of ST Math®, a visual instructional program that builds deep conceptual understanding of math through rigorous and creative problem solving to engage, motivate, and challenge Pre-K-8 students toward higher achievement. ST Math incorporates the latest in learning and the brain, promoting mastery-based learning and mathematical understanding. Longitudinal and broad-based studies across diverse population groups continue to demonstrate ST Math’s efficacy in building life-long learners prepared for success in STEM fields. ST Math currently reaches more than 1.2 million students and 53,000 teachers at 3,900 schools in 47 states. For more information, visit stmath.com.
NewSchools Venture Fund is a national nonprofit that finds, funds and supports promising and innovative education entrepreneurs, teams of educators and education leaders. We help them accomplish their missions to achieve outstanding results for the schools, students and educators they serve. We are committed to helping students graduate high school prepared and inspired to achieve their most ambitious dreams and plans. Through our investing, management assistance, network building, and thought leadership, NewSchools helps to reimagine K–12 education.