Building Stronger Foundations

In 2021, MIND Research Institute continued the momentum inspired by our partners last year—when we met the moment of school closures and leveraged our collective strength to support students, educators, and families. This year, as the impact of the pandemic and social injustice continue to raise awareness of long-standing issues in education, we are leaning into this window of opportunity to build stronger foundations for systemic change.


From Our Leadership

The only constant in life is change, and with change comes opportunity. As an organization, we continue to collaborate with our partners, educators, and families to meet the challenges of the moment for students. We're also building the foundation for transformative and sustainable solutions that we believe will provide more equitable growth opportunities for all students, and help realize a brighter future.

Now more than ever, we can see just how much the world needs powerful problem solvers. Thank you for continuing to support our mission—ensuring that all students are mathematically equipped to solve the world's most challenging problems.

Brett Wounderberg


Brett Woudenberg
Chief Executive Officer 
MIND Research Institute



Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson, Ph.D.
Co-founder, Chief Technology Officer
MIND Research Institute


Building Stronger Schools

This year, ST Math made a larger and more meaningful impact as we all continued to navigate the pandemic. Building off 2020’s all-new ST Math program, we continued to add new features to support students and educators whether distance learning, hybrid, or in the classroom.

With support from our partners, ST Math continued to expand across the U.S.—and beyond—reaching even more students.









ST Math Awards

Our awards shelf is getting crowded, but we sure don't mind! We added these to the line up of awards and recognition for ST Math in 2021.


Best Foundational Mathematics Instructional Solution


Best Gamification in Learning and Best Customer Experience in EdTech


Best Math App or Tool



Math Solution and New Product


Best Math App or Tool and Best Gamification App or Tool


Best Tools for Back to School

ST Math digital certification

The Proof Is in the Promise

This February, our ST Math program earned the research-based design product certification from Digital Promise. This product certification is intended to serve as a rigorous, reliable signal for consumers, including school administrators, educators, and families, looking for evidence of research-based educational technology (edtech) products. MIND is one of 13 companies selected to be the first recipients of the Research-Based Design product certification.

Learn more about the certification

Equitable Experiences for Every Learner

Last October, our ST Math program earned the Learner Variability product certification from Digital Promise. The certification is a reliable signal for educators and families looking for evidence that edtech products support their learners’ unique needs. ST Math was one of only 15 products to be recognized with this certification. This new certification accompanies the research-based design product certification ST Math earned from Digital Promise last year. For both certifications, ST Math was recognized in the first cohort.

Learn more about the certification

Miles and Milestones for ST Math

Over the year, we formed several strategic partnerships that helped our patented approach to math reach more students across the country—from east to west and in between. ST Math expanded statewide in Texas, and district-wide in Fairfax County Public Schools and Los Angeles Unified School District—the largest districts in their respective states.

"We’re excited that ST Math’s adaptive online product for grades K-5 will be made available to all Texas school systems and families at no cost to them. ST Math’s unique approach provides students with equitable access to learning through challenging puzzles, non-routine problem solving, and informative feedback. Each curricular offering through Texas Home Learning is dynamic and innovative; these new instructional materials for math will not only be fun for kids, but will also help the lessons to really stick."
Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath

"MIND Research Institute has truly grown up with LAUSD. LAUSD has partnered with MIND for the twenty-two years that this organization has existed. That is why it is such an honor to see this partnership expand district-wide. This milestone speaks to the exemplary work LAUSD has done in mathematically preparing their students. I want to thank all of the educators, administrators, and donors who have contributed to this great partnership."
MIND CEO Brett Woudenberg

"When we implemented ST Math, we saw how the program’s visual approach made a difference for our students and educators."
FCPS K-12 Mathematics Coordinator Dr. Amy Hunter
Fairfax County Public Schools

New ST Math Resources

Launching the new ST Math was just the start! To give educators and students the best experience possible, and to support them wherever they were making learning happen, we created resources to answer questions and provide additional training.

ST Math Academy

Our new professional learning site that presents everything educators need to know to get the most out of ST Math.

ST Math Help Site

A go-to for answers to common ST Math questions. The Help Site has hundreds of articles about ST Math.

Teacher Talks

A series of free interactive webinars designed to enhance teachers' knowledge and mastery of the ST Math program.

One Heart, One MIND, One Voice

In a year when it was challenging to be together physically, our podcast, virtual speaking engagements, and stories from our educators helped keep us all connected.

MIND’s flagship, award-winning podcast “Inside Our MIND” embarked on its second season. This new chapter of the podcast focuses specifically on our social impact initiatives including our partnerships and DEI work.  

Listen in on this episode featuring MIND’s EVP and Executive Director of Social Impact Karin Wu. She discusses how our partners worked with us and inspired us to meet the moment of school closures and leverage our collective assets to support students, schools and families.

Listen To More Episodes




With so many national and regional education conferences cancelled this past year, we were excited for opportunities to speak virtually at national and regional education conferences. We also created ways to independently reach our community with the creation of a series of virtual events. 

Here are some of the topics that our MIND speakers presented:

The Neuroscience of Deeper Learning

Addressing the COVID Slide

Turning Learning Loss into Learning Recovery



 As teachers and administrators navigated challenge after challenge this year, they continued to inspire us with their stories, expertise, and optimism. 

“After the shutdown, I asked a few colleagues what was going well in their districts and one, in a district very similar to mine, said his students were doing more ST Math than anything else.”

- Christopher Dodge, Teaching in a Pandemic

“Our number one priority was making distance learning their friend. But first, we needed to understand that families are going through a lot right now, so we aimed to make the transition as turnkey as possible.”

-Billie Jo Lamoureaux, 5 Distance Learning Tips from an ST Math Teacher 

“One of the essential things every special education teacher should care about is equity. We need to ensure we're giving everybody what they need to be successful, and that's going to look different for every kid.”

-Erin Curtin, Insights and ST Math Tips from a Former Special Education Teacher 

Continuing to Push for Broader Change

Part of building better foundations is working to affect change on a larger scale. MIND continues to join larger policy conversations, sharing thought leadership, input, and evidence-based best practices aimed at improving education for all students.

MIND Submits Public Comments on NSF's STEM Education Plan - MIND presented public comments concerning the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Federal STEM Education Plan, Charting a Course For Success: America's Strategy for STEM Education Proposed Priorities for the US [85 FR 55323]. Our responses focus on critical areas of STEM education.

MIND Participates in SETDA and ECS Edtech Policy Discussions - MIND is a proud partner of the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) and the Education Commission of the States (ECS)—two of the most prominent and important venues for edtech policy discussion. Immediately following a week of virtual meetings of SETDA and of ECS, our Vice President of Engagement Liz Neiman shared some of her thoughts and impressions of the key discussions.

Nationwide Impact

This year, third-party independent research firm WestEd conducted a nationwide study of ST Math that was the largest of its kind to evaluate an edtech program. Researchers used an innovative method to normalize school performance across state lines, evaluating how a school ranked on their standardized math test performance within their state before and after adopting ST Math. The study found schools that consistently used ST Math outgrew similar schools by 14 percentile points in statewide ranking. 

Listen to "WestEd and Repeatable Results in EdTech Evaluation" on Spreaker.

Explore WestEd Study


Building Stronger Communities

We believe that strong communities significantly improve the quality of our lives. While the early months of the pandemic required us to keep our distance, our use of technology and social media enabled us to further our mission and deepen the connections with the students, educators, and families we serve.



Through public-private partnerships, we brought the excitement of math to youth, families and communities both in and out of the classroom. 



Reached in
the Community


Programs and Events




Instagram Takeovers

Our educator and partner communities are some of the best content creators on social media. This year, we launched our nationwide Instagram Takeover campaign to spotlight schools that went above and beyond to keep students engaged with ST Math during the pandemic. JiJi made appearances at several schools in Massachusetts, Texas, and Louisiana for action-packed days of fun.



JiJi Day


For so many years, JiJi Day has been a monumental event that our ST Math community looks forward to every April. We were amazed to see how schools all over the country celebrated JiJi in their own special ways. We also designed several activities that students and teachers could do in the classroom or at home to ensure everyone could participate.



Pi Day


Our Pi Day lessons bring so much joy to students and educators alike. This year, Creative Content Manager Nina Wu continued the tradition but with a twist. She created a delicious square pie lesson to show how the remaining area between a circle within a square adds up to 3.14.


Feel the Love


More time spent on ST Math translates to more learning, and increasing usage by just 10 minutes on ST Math has been shown to improve test scores. During the month of February, we wanted to inspire our schools to grow their love of math. We designed a list of daily activities teachers could do with students, love notes, and fun coloring sheets all to inspire students to spend more time with JiJi.

Read More

CABE Winner Spotlights
CABE Bilingual Schools of Excellence


The California Association of Bilingual Education (CABE) promotes bilingual education and quality educational experiences for all California students. We were thrilled to hear that three schools using our ST Math program—which takes a visual, language-neutral approach to math instruction—were awarded CABE's 2020 Seal of Excellence. 



Data-Driven Solutions

At MIND, we invest in data, research and evaluation. So much so, that we have an entire team dedicated to accountability and building valuable research partnerships. This year, our Data & Evaluation team made strides in examining DEI-based data more closely, creating robust ST Math insight tools for MIND’s internal teams as well as our educator partners, and collaborating with other research groups to improve edtech evaluation processes. 

Utah STEM Action Center Releases Exemplar Statewide Program Evaluation - The Utah STEM Action Center released its annual report, which represents a new high water mark in a seven-year progression towards the vital practice of holding education programs and school districts using state funds accountable for achieving student learning impacts.

The ST Math Theory of Change - How does student time and energy invested in ST Math result in schoolwide math proficiency gains? When students solve their way through the puzzle-based games, they self-pace through their grade-level math content and master mathematical concepts.

Keep Students on Grade Level in ST Math, Even if They’re Behind - Students can successfully work through ST Math material at their current grade level, and doing so benefits their performance on summative grade-level assessments. This was validated even for students whose test results indicate they are two or more years behind in math. 



Read More


Building Stronger Partnerships


Learning loss. The 20-21 school year started with this term looming in our minds. Schools and families tried to meet the needs of their students in classroom-based, hybrid, and fully remote learning models, but despite their best efforts, we started to see the learning loss predictions from last year come true. NWEA’s November 2020 analysis of student assessment data showed that students in grades 3-8 were about 5 to 10 percentile points lower in math than the same time in 2019. Gains in math were lower on average in fall 2020 than prior years, resulting in more students falling behind relative to their prior standing.

Those numbers were alarming. But in our response to this challenge, we shifted the conversation away from a deficit-based focus and towards a holistic and asset-based approach. Our Director of Impact Advancement, Brian LeTendre, compiled helpful insights and resources in his blog, From Learning Loss to Unfinished Learning: Resources for Changing the Conversation, and the One8 Foundation helped us build a Learning Recovery brochure for educators highlighting best practices and studies that show all students can succeed when given the time to work on ST Math.circle_spotlight_boys-playing-st-math-01

As a research organization, we continue to conduct studies which have shown that bolstering students’ self-beliefs, and giving them the time they need for productive struggle are key ingredients to keeping students on a trajectory for grade level success. This is not only a learning issue. It is also an equity issue. All students are capable of succeeding on grade level math. Understanding this, our partners continue to double down on investments in best-in-class ST Math implementations, in addition to providing us guidance, and teaming up with us to create countless resources that help educators and students alike believe they are capable of higher achievements.

The work is far from done, but as I reflect on the past twelve months and all of the challenges we have experienced, I am truly grateful and inspired by the dedication and brilliance of my colleagues and partners.


Karin Wu
Executive Vice President & Executive Director, Social Impact
MIND Research Institute


Partner With Us


Overdeck Family Foundation, founded in 2011 with a mission to measurably enhance education both inside and outside the classroom, announced a $3.75 million grant to MIND Research Institute. This three-year grant will improve and expand MIND’s ST Math program while the organization also works to research and develop more culturally relevant math curriculum and tools.

Read more »

Laura Overdeck, chair of Overdeck Family Foundation and founder of Bedtime Math, with MIND co-founder and creator of ST Math, Dr. Matthew Peterson.


The Advanced Education Research and Development Fund (AERDF) is a national nonprofit initiative that supports ambitious Inclusive R&D programs designed to tackle intractable teaching and learning challenges that disproportionately affect Black and Latino students and students of all races experiencing poverty. In 2020, the EF+Math Program (which became part of AERDF in 2021), awarded MIND researchers with a $3 million multi-year Prototyping Track contract. The EF+Math Program was previously fiscally sponsored by NewSchools Venture Fund, where MIND's Board of Directors member, Cameron White, is a Partner.

Read more »



One8 Foundation and their Mass STEM Hub team worked closely with us throughout the year to strengthen ST Math implementation and combat student learning loss. They also invited MIND to provide content for Massachusetts STEM Week. Students and families engaged in over 100,000 minutes of math activities together, and over 100 student-designed games were submitted as part of those activities.

Read more »



Verizon continued their support of ST Math within Verizon Innovative Learning, a program that works to help foster digital inclusion. All children should have access to technology and quality STEM education. Through Verizon Innovative Learning, Verizon is turning belief into action by helping students achieve, learn, and create more with free internet access, free devices, and innovative next-gen technology-infused lessons.

Read more »


John Deere Foundation announced it will invest $200 million over the next 10 years in initiatives that will bring to life John Deere's higher purpose: We run so life can leap forward. As part of its 10-year commitment, the Foundation will invest $100 million in the families and youth who live, work, and learn in John Deere's home communities to ensure their inclusive and equitable access to resources and educational opportunities critical for human dignity and self-sufficiency. In addition to increasing support of ST Math in their home communities, John Deere also supported MIND’s research and development work.

Read more »


Phillips 66 knows that today’s youth are the future leaders of the energy industry. That’s why they invest in fueling students’ interests in mathematics and other STEM subjects. Phillips 66’s long-term partnership with MIND has helped to scale ST Math nationally. Phillips 66 provided funding for ST Math as well as recognized outstanding educators for their implementation of the program.

Read more »



Cisco and the Cisco Foundation partner with nonprofit organizations around the world, including MIND, helping to solve global problems through cash grants, technology, and shared expertise. With Cisco’s support, we were able to continue helping students by giving parents direct access to ST Math. We also appreciate Cisco’s help in bolstering our thought leadership by including us as speakers at this year’s virtual ISTE conference.

Read more »



MIND partnered with Rockwell Automation for Milwaukee Math Week, and the response was overwhelming. In addition to 100,000+ minutes of math activities engaged in, there were over 1,000 families who participated overall. With Rockwell’s help, materials for the event were translated into Spanish and these materials will now be available for all future events.

Read more »



The mission of the William E. Hixson Foundation is to inspire learning. Focused on the many ways that small, incremental change can help create positive impact, the Foundation keeps an eye on the big picture and supports actions that help to make a difference in STEAM education. They aim to support students to get the most out of school—and life. The William E. Hixson Foundation believes that math exists in every facet of our world, and that every child should benefit from the gift of confidence that a strong mathematical foundation provides.

Read more »



In the Media


social​ ​media​ ​followers​
(13% growth from previous year)

icons_ar_growth arrow.png

increase in organic search visibility
year over year​


increase in referral-based web traffic
year over year


blog views


lifetime views
on our YouTube channel

2021 continued the momentum we saw in 2020 when it came to media coverage. ST Math and the wealth of resources provided to support students, teachers, and families did not go unnoticed.

Coverage of MIND and ST Math appeared in:

  • The Chronicle of Philanthropy
  • Class Tech Tips
  • The CSR Journal
  • District Administration
  • Education Next
  • Education Week
  • EdWeek Market Brief
  • eschool News
  • EdSource
  • EdSurge
  • Language Magazine
  • MarketScale
  • Medium
  • SmartBrief
  • TriplePundit

2020-2021 Financials

FY 2021 Funding By Donor


FY 2021 Expenses


Life at MIND

This year, MIND colleagues strived to create more inclusive spaces—both in and outside of our organization. We celebrated heritage months and highlighted remarkable individuals. We worked to make a bold commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion because we know that we cannot transform math education without it. Here is a peek into life at MIND in 2021.

Hope for the Future

This time last year, the world as we knew it had come to a halt. As the pandemic pressed on, MIND colleagues learned each day to leverage more and more of each other’s strengths to overcome adversity. As we all yearn for a return to normalcy, we continue to look for creative and rigorous solutions.

Thank you for supporting our mission to mathematically equip all students to solve the world’s most challenging problems. Together, we’ll continue to build stronger foundations for an even more hopeful future.

To learn more about MIND's mission, programs, and impact, please contact