Santa Ana, CA — Nov. 26, 2007 — The non-profit education researcher and publisher MIND Research Institute announced that it received a new grant of $500,000 from the Cisco Foundation. This donation, which represents the largest single cash gift in the MIND Research Institute’s history, will fund an upgrade of MIND’s elementary and middle school math education programs to make them deliverable online over the Internet. Combined with a recent product grant, Cisco’s support this fall to the MIND Research Institute represents a million-dollar investment in the non-profit.
MIND Research, which has invested over a decade of research, development, and real-world implementation into interactive computerized math lessons, currently delivers its educational software programs via CD-ROM. MIND’s supplemental courseware includes the ST Math™ software suite for grades K to 5 and ST Math: Algebra Readiness supplemental software for middle and high school students. ST Math, which requires manual installation and subsequent software upgrades on each individual computer where the program will be accessed, develops a balance of mathematical-reasoning, procedural-skills development, and problem-solving abilities through a unique visual approach. Multiple research studies have consistently shown dramatic double-digit increases in student math proficiency levels on standardized tests, and because of this success, the MIND Research Institute is focused on national expansion of its programs.
“With this latest and largest grant, the Cisco Foundation has demonstrated a solid commitment to the MIND Research Institute’s innovative, research based approach to math education,” said Ted Smith, MIND Research Chairman. “Cisco has been a key supporter of our efforts to improve the educational outcomes for children, and we are tremendously grateful for this latest demonstration of their support.”
Last year, the Cisco Foundation granted MIND Research $376,000 in support to significantly enhance the content and improve implementation of the ST Math education software. That grant helped pave the way to a web-based platform by specifically funding the integration of new and improved research-driven features, including teacher tools, designed to improve the efficiency of the organization’s operations and program delivery. Other prior giving from the Cisco Foundation includes a $50,000 grant in 2004 to expand MIND’s “STMath+Music” program to additional schools in California, and an $89,000 product donation in 2005 to help build scalable hardware to manage MIND’s rapid growth in numbers of students reached.
“The MIND Research Institute is delivering a program that has a clear and replicable impact on the math and problem-solving skills of children,” stated Michael Yutrzenka, Executive Director of the Cisco Foundation. “We believe Cisco’s recent donation will help MIND Research further expand this program and help arm future generations with the basic math and problem solving skills required to compete in a global economy in the 21st century.”
Some school districts throughout the United States will only adopt educational programs that are available over the Web, and many more are transitioning to using only Web-deliverable software programs. Giving schools access to educational software over the Web allows states and school districts to easily deliver this programming to remote locations and with minimal expense and maintenance.
“Web delivery is the next crucial step in the development of our technology,” said Dr. Matthew Peterson, MIND Research Co-founder and Senior Scientist. “Cisco’s generous equipment and cash contributions provide MIND Research with the resources needed to make our program Web-deliverable, which will dramatically improve access to our programs, help us reach a broader and larger audience, and improve the effectiveness and efficiency of our program delivery.” Dr. Peterson, a neuroscientist, created the patented and proven Spatial Temporal (ST) computer exercises and will oversee the Web delivery conversion project.
Specifically, MIND Research will use the grant to secure the necessary information technology expertise to design, build and deploy a fully Web-deliverable platform for users to access ST Math. With a Web-deliverable system, MIND Research can implement interactive tools such as a message board for teachers using the software to communicate with one another, as well as make video trainings and other professional development tools available for download and use at any time. The organization will integrate all of its current and future software programming into this system, which is planned for a limited beta-release in the 2008-2009 school year and full-scale release in the 2009-2010 school year.
MIND Research Institute Background
The MIND Research Institute is a non-profit education researcher and publisher. MIND applies its distinctive visual approach to illustrating concepts and building problem-solving skills as the basis for innovative, research-proven math education programs for elementary and secondary schools. The programs include the ST Math patent-pending software for K-5 students and ST Math: Algebra Readiness Supplemental for intervention at the secondary level. The visual approach taps into each student’s innate ability to do spatial-temporal (ST) reasoning and problem-solving, and is effective at engaging students at all levels of language or academic proficiency. Participating students have achieved dramatic improvements in math performance. There are currently over 270 schools in California, Texas and nine other states, and more than 48,000 students and 2,500 teachers participating in the program.