Elementary and junior high school teachers in Stevens Point played the role of students Monday, learning how students' minds work. The teachers also learned about new game-based software for learning math.
Matthew Peterson understands how it feels to struggle in the classroom.
"I'm dyslexic actually and so I didn't even learn to read until I was in 5th grade," says Peterson, co-founder of MIND Research Institute.
Now he is developing game-based software to help struggling students.
"Our mission is to ensure all students are mathematically equipped to solve the world's most challenging problems," said Peterson.
He was in Stevens Point to show teachers how his research on the brain can help elementary students.
"We are trying to plant some seeds. We're trying to determine if this is something over time teachers may grab onto," said Attila Weninger, superintendent of Stevens Point Area Public School District.
Peterson's goal is about more than how to do math. It's also about students like those at Ben Franklin Junior High School learning to enjoy the work.
"We see that math is fascinating. When you present it right, math is exciting and you're really able to see the depth. It's exhilarating to learn math," said Peterson.
As the classroom environment changes, schools are looking for ways to make math exciting.
"What we are gradually moving towards is a more individualized approach to education," says Weninger.
These new approaches might be the key to help students excel in math.
"Kind of like in a video game but we build a deeper understanding than what a typical video game would do," said Peterson.
Peterson says all students need that deeper understanding of math to be part of our tech culture's future.