Corvallis, Ore., Sep 15, 2015 The MIND Research Institute, TransCanada Corporation and Corvallis School District have partnered to bring a proven, effective math education program to two local schools. The $25,000 grant from TransCanada to MIND Research helps fund the unique visually-based ST Math® software program for 750 students, training for 45 teachers, and year-round educational support to two Corvallis schools.
Jefferson Elementary is a traditionally high-performing school that is also home to Corvallis’s Lifeskills program, serving the district’s students with developmental disabilities. In fact, 24% of Jefferson’s students have learning disabilities. Because ST Math introduces math concepts visually – without relying on words or math symbols – through self-paced games, it offers deeper conceptual understanding and challenges students whether they are gifted or face learning challenges.
“Seeing our students in the Lifeskills program sitting side-by-side with general education students, working through the same math concepts at their own pace and ability has been great,” said principal Melissa Harder. “We appreciate TransCanada’s support of our teachers and students to ensure they have the best mathematical learning experiences.”
After piloting ST Math last year, Jefferson received the TransCanada grant licensing the program for the whole school, ensuring they will have the program for the foreseeable future and making it easier to train teachers to use it effectively and plan to incorporate it into their classroom lessons. At the end of the year, Harder says the school started running reports showing their Response to Intervention (RTI) testing compared to a students’ progress in ST Math to help understand how progress in ST Math correlated to increased learning.
A few miles away, Lincoln Elementary is a dual-immersion Spanish and English program, where seven different languages are spoken among the English Language Learner population. By introducing the math problems as visual puzzles without words, ST Math removes language barriers for all students. As students master the concepts, traditional mathematical symbols and language are gradually integrated. This method has proven to double or triple growth on math proficiency on state tests.
For teachers, ST Math includes training sessions, webinars, on-demand videos, and access to an educational consultant on MIND Research’s staff. Teachers learn how to connect ST Math’s visual puzzles to their conventional symbolic texts, and are coached on how to guide children through challenging sections by getting them to express their thinking, rather than simply showing them the solution.
“At TransCanada we believe in strengthening communities, including through education,” said Jeanette Dame, Senior Community Partnership Advisor at TransCanada. “Our partnership with MIND Research Institute ensures that Corvallis students are preparing to become the next generation of critical thinkers, problem solvers and STEM leaders.”
TransCanada chose ST Math from the short list of the five proven educational programs the Business Roundtable identified in 2013 as ready to scale and most likely to effectively improve American education. The Roundtable, an association of CEOs of the leading U.S. companies including TransCanada, evaluated more than 100 educational programs from across the country in 2013 before selecting ST Math and four others that helped meet the Roundtable’s commitment to STEM education.
Developed by neuroscientists, MIND’s ST Math instructional software program provides visual, computer-based math games that support deep understanding of concepts covered by state math standards at each grade level. Because the program doesn’t rely on language proficiency or prior math success, it’s accessible for English Language Learners and children with learning disabilities. Students use ST Math on computers or tablet devices in a blended learning environment.
As a social benefit organization, MIND works with funding partners like TransCanada to bring ST Math to more high-need schools.
About MIND Research Institute
MIND Research Institute is a neuroscience and education social benefit organization, dedicated to ensuring that all students are mathematically equipped to solve the world’s most challenging problems. MIND's distinctive visual approach to math and problem-solving is the basis of its innovative, research-proven ST Math® programs for elementary and secondary schools. The visually-based ST Math program has been shown to double or triple schools’ growth rates in math proficiency. MIND's programs currently reach 800,000 students and 31,000 teachers in 2,500 schools in 40 states. For more information, visit www.mindresearch.org.
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