Magrid Math Programme Sets Sights On US

eam Magrid participated in the Luxembourg EdTech 2022 forum (Photo © Magrid)

Luxembourg’s language-free math training programme, Magrid, is now being used in Portugal, Thailand and the UK and could soon be in schools in the US.

The incredible expansion of the University of Luxembourg spinoff comes just one year after it launched its solution in Luxembourg primary schools.

“It happened faster than I expected”, Magrid founder Tahereh Pazouki told Silicon. “I was thinking initially we would start with neighbouring countries. In the first 24 hours, we got over 200 requests!”

Pazouki, who came to Luxembourg in 2012 to pursue a master’s in computer science, developed the ground-breaking but simple solution as part of her doctoral studies in psychology. She learned that numerical skills can be a predictor for success in life, “because they show the overall cognitive ability for problem solving and logical thinking”.

But in some instances, youngsters miss this essential learning stage, perhaps because they have a migratory background and cannot follow the language of instruction, have a special education need or are differently abled.

“This means that the current teaching method is leaving behind a very significant group of children,” said Pazouki.

Magrid is a visual solution aimed at learners in nursery and cycle 1, to be used for up to 15 minutes per day. Pazouki tested the first prototypes in schools in Luxembourg, Germany and France with reassuring results. “Not only did the performance gap close, they were also more engaged in the learning process and consequently they gained confidence in mathematics–usually they have maths anxiety,” she said.

In 2021, Script, the education ministry’s teaching innovation and technology department bought the licence to roll out Magrid in public Luxembourg primary schools in spring 2021.

The first year has kept Pazouki on her toes: today her eight-strong team is working with schools in France, Portugal, the UK and US, equivalent to more than 12,000 learners and 1,500 teachers. And it has garnered critical acclaim, scooping several prizes such as the Creative Young Entrrepeneur Luxembourg 2021 award, first prize at the EIB 2021 Social Innovation Tournament and, more recently, the audience prize at the House of Startups Edtech conference.

One year in, Pazouki is now focusing on promoting Magrid’s benefits for learners with special education needs. The solution has received considerable interest in the US, where academics are working on replicating the European studies. The founder hopes it will be validated within the next 22 months so that it can be rolled out in specialist schools for deaf and autistic children, for example.

The solution itself is constantly being updated and tailored to new needs, based on feedback received from teachers. Pazouki is also working on the next level of learning tools to expand the age range covered by Magrid. And she is hiring. “For sales and marketing, also on every part, on the tech side and for psychologist profiles,” she said.

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