Corporate Social Responsibility

CSR Partner: MIND Research Institute

Helping elementary students learn to love math for a lifetime

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When students fail to master basic math concepts at an early age, they often struggle later, to graduate from high school and advance in today's technology-driven workplaces. Cisco helped MIND Research Institute scale distribution of their innovative math instructional software to help more children conquer basic math and stay in school.

Who: A new way to learn math

The MIND Research Institute is an education-based nonprofit founded by neuroscientists and cognitive learning researchers who study the way children learn math. MIND developed the Spatial Temporal (ST) Math instructional software program with a new approach to learning math.

  • Language-independent animation helps all students learn key concepts despite language or reading challenges.
  • A trial-and-error approach allows students to make as many 10 attempts before intervention to promote persistence and self-confidence to solve problems.
  • The self-paced software has a built-in performance-tracking system, closely aligned to state and Common Core standards.
  • 9 major metropolitan areas experienced significant growth in math proficiency using ST Math as part of MIND's National Math Initiative.

How: Scaling the solution to more schools

Cisco helped MIND scale delivery and access to ST Math with cash and product grants to transition the software to a web-based platform. Cisco partners with MIND Research Institute to invest in innovative educational programs that provide students with the foundation to succeed beyond school.

  • 630,000 students have access to ST Math software, up from 55,000 in 2007.
  • 25,000 teachers can connect to live training webinars and any-time training modules using Cisco collaborative technology.
  • 2050 schools use ST Math to address the needs of all learners, especially those with language and learning challenges.

Impact Multiplied

Cisco multiplied the impact of our investment by helping MIND pilot ST Math software in school districts and connecting MIND with City Year, a community partner that provides tutoring and mentoring to high-risk students. Students using ST Math deeply understand math, develop perseverance and problem-solving skills, and become life-long learners prepared for success.

  • Students at 22 pilot schools in Virginia tripled growth in math proficiency on standardized tests, compared to schools not using ST Math.
  • Students at 14 pilot schools in Arizona doubled growth in math proficiency on standardized tests, compared to non-ST Math schools.
  • Teachers say ST Math helps their students become more self-confident, whether they are low performers or high achievers.