Meeting the Moment

This year, MIND Research Institute had a straightforward plan—until we didn’t. It’s undeniable that the COVID-19 pandemic changed everything. While our plan for 2020 took on more twists and turns than we could have ever anticipated, together, we were still able to accomplish so much and deepen student access to meaningful math learning.

From Our Leadership

This letter has evolved many times from what we thought it would be as we wrapped up last year’s annual report and anticipated the next. We planned to tell you the story of the launch of the all-new ST Math—and we still do—but now, there is another chapter to this story. This chapter is about change and exceptional need. When schools closed this spring, our educators and families looked to us for answers. With the help of our Board of Directors and social impact partners, we found solutions. We are so very proud of what has been achieved this year. Now more than ever, it is clear that our mission to ensure all students are mathematically equipped to solve the world’s most challenging problems is one of absolute necessity.

Friends, thank you for your continued support through this challenging year. Thank you for rising to the occasion. Thank you for helping us meet the moment.


Brett Woudenberg
Chief Executive Officer 
MIND Research Institute


Matthew Peterson, Ph.D.
Co-founder and Chief Research & Development Officer
MIND Research Institute



Meet the All-New ST Math!

This school year, we launched an all-new version of our flagship solution, ST Math! We couldn't have done it without the generous support, feedback, and enthusiasm of partners like you. The newest version of ST Math is responsive, works on the latest browser technologies, and runs seamlessly across devices. Designed to deepen and extend engagement to maximize learning time, the update gives ST Math’s beloved mascot, JiJi, and all the puzzles and environments a fresh new look too.

Explore The All-New ST Math
ST Math School Grants totaled
With support from our partners, ST Math continued to expand across the U.S.—and beyond—reaching even more students.









ST Math Awards

We’re proud to have won the following awards this year, and credit our success to the strong partnerships we have with our users and donors..

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

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


The Week that Changed Everything

On March 14, 2020, in light of the sweeping school closures across the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic, MIND decided to provide free access to ST Math—not only for schools, but also for parents who were suddenly homeschooling their children for an unforeseeable period of time. 

In roughly 72 hours, we received over 7,000 new requests for ST Math Homeschool. For context, we normally serve roughly 800 homes per year. We are still offering ST Math free for families through the remainder of 2020.

For schools, access to ST Math remained free through June 30, 2020. During that time, MIND provided access to 5,725 additional schools and 1.8M+ new students. For context, prior to the pandemic, MIND was serving 1.2M students—onboarding roughly 700 new schools per year.

For many organizations, scaling at this speed while at the same time eliminating their source of earned revenue would have been impossible. Thanks to our Board of Directors and philanthropic partners, though, MIND was able to stay afloat while also increasing capacity to support students, educators, and families.

Note from our CEO

Educator Resources

We added to our collection of tools for educators, administrators and parents.
We also created a place for everyone to tour and play ST Math games!

Empowering Educators

This year, we refined our resource offerings to comprehensively cover core topics in math education, adding new content on deep conceptual understanding and student engagement.

Play Page

Here you can play sample puzzles from ST Math after watching guided video tours.

ST Math Community

A place to learn and grow together! Members can share ideas, win prizes, and connect with other ST Math educators across the country.

The Voices of MIND

Our podcast, speaking engagements, and game highlights continued to amplify the voices of our educators, partners, and colleagues.



We traveled to San Diego, Washington, D.C., and so many places in between to connect with education thought leaders from across the globe. We also had the privilege of sharing our own thoughts on the state of math education. 


Twelve new episodes of the “Inside Our MIND” podcast were published in 2019. Each episode looks at issues and challenges facing education that MIND is working to address through research, technology, and strategic initiatives.

Listen in on this episode featuring Karin Wu, MIND’s Executive Vice President/Executive Director of Social Impact. Karin shares the story of what brought her to MIND, the organization’s mission, and how our partners help us pursue that mission.

Hear More Episodes




Three more educators’ stories were added to this series. Teachers and administrators across the country told us how they’re engaging, motivating, and challenging their students in unique ways.

"The students would say things to the principal on the playground like ‘I know JiJi is all about math, but JiJi wants us to never give up and figure out the problem.’ They were not only carrying that over to other content areas, but to behavioral and social areas, and that meant just as much as the quantitative results."
-Kim Anthony, How to Bring Edtech into a District Successfully

"I don’t ask that students be able to do every single kind of approach to solving different types of problems. But they do need to find a strategy that works for them, a way that is efficient as well as accurate."
-Meagan Erwin,
A Math Class Structure that Fosters Conceptual Learning

"Once a school successfully embeds ST Math into their culture they will start to see students develop deeper conceptual understanding and math fluency at the same time. Then it’s up to teachers to take their students' new abilities and help them apply them to real-world applications."
-Thomas Donahue,
Engagement Thrives When Students Own Their Math Learning

Research is Still Our Middle Name

We continued to meet the need for a math program with a proven impact by continuing the research being done by and with MIND Research Institute.

New RCT Study Shows ST Math Boosts Students’ Self-Beliefs - Can a game change how you feel about math? The answer is yes, and the research proves it. The Journal of Research on Technology in Education (JRTE) published a rigorous study that found students who play ST Math have higher mathematics self-beliefs than non-ST Math students.

Proving Ground Study Finds Higher ST Math Usage Associated with Higher Math Gains -Do minutes matter? A novel study released by Proving Ground, part of the Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University, evaluated the effect of increased usage of ST Math within a single school year. They found that increasing usage from fall to spring by more than 10 minutes per week correlated to significant higher math gains on multiple state standardized math assessments.

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


Meeting Our Communities

Prior to March, we attended all kinds of gatherings to share our mission across the country! When COVID-19 kept us from traditional events, we still found ways to bring math to life for students, parents, and educators.



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



Celebrating Joyful Math

We were honored to once again partner with the Global Math Project for the 2019 Global Math Week. The Global Math Project believes that everyone is part of the global math community, and each year Global Math Week brings teachers and students around the world together through joyful math experiences. The Global Math Project is a wonderful ally for MIND that mirrors our belief that every student can develop a deep understanding, and a true love of math.

Learn more about  Global Math Project

K-12 Game-a-thon


Students designed, built, and shared games that featured creative and unusual solution­­s to mathematical problems in our annual K-12 Game-a-thon. Despite the challenges COVID-19 brought, students were still eager to show off their math skills. We had entries from eleven states across the country!

View the 2020 Top Teams

MathMINDs Games


We hit the road to hold Family Nights around the country. These events featured both the existing MathMINDs Games, as well as some activities that are currently in development. These experiences will inform the next wave of MathMINDs Games, as well as MIND’s ongoing work to engage families.

Journey with Us

Automation Fair


For the fourth year in a row, MIND collaborated with Rockwell Automation at their 2019 Automation Fair®! We brought along ST Math student ambassadors to show the grownups in attendance how to really have some fun with math. We also engaged in bold conversations about the future of STEM.

See How Students Shined

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance


Being based in Orange County has its advantages! Disneyland Resort invited MIND to bring some of our ST Math students to the park so they could hear from a panel of Disney Imagineers. The panel ended with the Imagineers inviting the room full of already excited students to ride Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance before it opened to the general public!

May the Force Be With You

Introducing MathMINDs Games

MIND created storybook board games that combine math, history, and literacy in a highly connected experience. Through each story, families learn and play a math game as they explore real events from the game's country of origin.

How Our Partners Met the Moment

Last November, just as I wrapped up five consecutive weeks of travel, I posted a blog titled, “5 Reasons We Are Thankful for Our Partners,” sharing insights into how our philanthropic supporters make us stronger and how they increase our capacity to impact more students year after year. What I didn’t realize at the time was that our collective commitment to the mission was about to be tested.

one8_circle_spotlight-01The pandemic changed the world, yet our partners continued to be a constant source of support and inspiration for us. As we moved quickly to innovate to meet the needs of students, parents and educators, we were bolstered by a significant increase in philanthropic funding as well as increased visibility provided by partners such as Cisco, Phillips 66, Verizon, the One8 Foundation, NewSchools Venture Fund, the Overdeck Family Foundation, Rockwell Automation, John Deere, Ueberroth Family Foundation, Beall Family Foundation, SoCalGas, Pitney Bowes Foundation and many others. 

This year, more than ever before, I want to acknowledge the genuinely caring and dedicated people that we have the privilege to call our partners. Within each of these impressive organizations, we have friends who care about those we serve as much as we do. I received frequent calls from our partners checking on our well-being as we navigated through the pandemic and civil unrest. When we decided to host our Annual Partner Advisory Forum as a virtual event, they showed up in full force to contribute to the discussion of how to prepare for the uncertainties ahead.

automationfair_thanks_circle_spotlightEvery year we are tremendously grateful for the support of our partners, but this year, we feel especially honored to stand alongside them as they demonstrate the compassion, leadership, and resilience that we hope to build in every student we serve.



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



To help mitigate both summer learning loss and the “COVID slide,” the One8 Foundation, Mass STEM Hub, MIND Research Institute, and Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (MA DESE) partnered to provide access to ST Math in grades K-6 for Massachusetts schools. This 2020 Mass Math Initiative kept meaningful learning happening over the summer and through the 2020-21 school year.

Read More »



In addition to continued support of ST Math within its VILS (Verizon Innovative Learning Schools) program, Verizon donated $10 million to nonprofit organizations serving students, families and communities as part of its COVID-19 response. This included the No Kid Hungry initiative, the center for Disaster Philanthropy, and Direct Relief. They also tripled the data allowances for VILS, ensuring that students learning at home would be able to stay connected.

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 »



Since 2014, John Deere has continuously invested in ST Math as a part of its STEM education portfolio so last fall, MIND was invited to highlight a panel of educators and 4th grade students at its annual John Deere Inspire event at their headquarters in Moline, IL. During COVID-19, John Deere produced protective face shields for medical personnel and started an employee food bank donation matching program. They also launched a COVID-19 Innovations site to provide free resources for everything from 3D-printable designs to social distancing resources.

Read more »


Rockwell Automation’s innovation shined this year as they found ways to continue engaging students while they learned from home. Jay Flores contributed to MIND’s “Developing our MathMINDs” series, and developed his own series as well! “ It's Not Magic It's Science!” uses the entertainment factor of magic to increase excitement and awareness in STEM. Our own JiJi even guest starred as Jay’s assistant in an episode or two.

Read more »


Cisco CSR Logos - vert

Cisco has been a supporter of MIND Research Institute and ST Math for over fifteen years. During COVID-19, Cisco provided additional support to MIND to improve accessibility for our homeschool program, making it possible for nearly 33,000 families to gain access to ST Math. Cisco also provided free access and additional resources around its Webex platform to schools and families around the country, to help ease the transition to remote learning.

Read more »


The Overdeck Foundation was an incredible supporter of students as schools across the country shifted to remote learning. They provided additional funding to their education partners, including funds that helped MIND bring free access to ST Math for more students.

Read more »

NewSchools logo - high res

NewSchools Venture Fund’s mission is to reimagine public education through powerful ideas, passionate educators and visionary innovators so all children—especially those in underserved communities—have the opportunity to succeed. During COVID-19, they curated  resources for education innovators.

Read more »


In addition to increasing support for MIND in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, Pitney Bowes and the Pitney Bowes Foundation provided funding support to the United Way, made donations to food banks in over 45 communities across the country, helped make books available to families at meal pick-up locations, and made in-kind donations of educational materials to ensure learning was happening at home.

Read more »



In the Media


social​ ​media​ ​followers​
(20% growth from previous year)

icons_ar_growth arrow.png

increase​ ​in​ ​blog​ ​views​
​(from​ ​previous​ ​year)
View the blog


blog views in record month


increase in unique web visitors
(from organic search)


media mentions
(social media, blogs, press)


Coverage of MIND and ST Math appeared in:
  • District Administration
  • eSchool News
  • Education Week
  • Tech & Learning Magazine
  • EdSurge
  • My Tech Toolbelt Podcast

2018-2019 Financials

FY 2019 Funding By Donor


FY 2019 Expenses


Life at MIND

This year brought new board members, leadership, and plenty of opportunities to advance the mission. It also brought a lot of moments for MIND colleagues to give back, have fun, and celebrate. We invite you to take a peek into what life was like at MIND in 2019. 


Jo Garrett
Chief Financial Officer, MIND Research Institute
Jo is a seasoned financial executive 

who joined our organization in April.


Chuck Amos
Chief Executive Officer, GuideK12 
Chuck is a Minneapolis edtech leader 

who’s helping us to grow our mission.

What’s Next?

This year was unlike any other. We launched our all-new ST Math, met the challenges COVID-19 presented, and grew more than ever as an organization. We’re far from done though! Our mission to ensure all students are mathematically equipped to solve the world’s most challenging problems keeps us wondering, what’s next?

Big things are on the horizon for MIND. We’re finding ways to make our visual approach to learning mathematics even more impactful, and we can’t wait to share those plans with you soon!

Until then, we want to say thank you. Your continued support helps us to expand ST Math, bring math to life for communities, and further our research and development efforts. Together, we will impact even more students, teachers, and families.


Taste of Math

Personalized learning and evidence-based programs are now more important than ever.

Our product site showcases ST Math’s ability to create a unique pathway of interconnected

content to provide differentiated instruction for individual students, regardless of skill level.

Explore the new