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Mathnasium (also Mathnasium Learning Center) is an education brand and supplemental learning franchise consisting of over 400 learning centers in North America, South America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia that provides instruction in math to students in pre-kindergarten through high school. The curriculum is based around the Mathnasium Method, a proprietary system that was developed over 35 years by co-founder Lawrence Martinek.
Martinek, a Los Angeles-based mathematics educator, began developing the Mathnasium Method early in his teaching career by writing his own supplemental materials to school curricula. In 1985, Martinek published Math Tips for Parents, a guide for parents and teachers based on his own experiences and his work with his son, Nic. In the book, Martinek argues that students build confidence and mastery in mathematics through successful encounter and interaction with carefully selected materials. He emphasizes that an approach combining oral, visual, mental, and written modalities helps children to develop number sense.
In 1999, Nic died at the age of 19 in a car accident. As a legacy to his son, Larry continued to refine the Mathnasium Method. Mathnasium was founded in 2002 by Larry Martinek, David Ullendorf, and Peter Markovitz. Larry based the Mathnasium Method on the premise that a student's dislike of math stems from the frustration and embarrassment of not understanding math the way it is taught in the classroom. The first center opened in Westwood, California, and continues to be one of a small number of centers owned by Mathnasium, LLC. In June 2010, Mathnasium announced the opening of the 200th U.S. location. In February 2012, Mathnasium announced the 300th U.S. location. The 400th location opened in September 2013. There are currently Mathnasium centers in 16 countries.
The Mathnasium approach first revolves around an assessment to determine what a student does and does not know. Next, a personalized and prescriptive learning program is made. Each student follows the program with the help of specially trained Mathnasium math tutors who provide instruction and encouragement. For proof of progress, Mathnasium relies on the students' report cards, independent tests, and parent testimony to measure the speed and magnitude of improvement in math skills, numerical thinking, and attitude. Mathnasium separates levels of instruction into early education, elementary school, middle school, and high school. Students advance to a new level of study when they demonstrate mastery of the subject.
In 2011, Mathnasium hosted a national TriMathlon, a math competition held at 160 participating Mathnasium locations. Over 4000 students competed in three challenges: The Counting Game, Magic Squares, and the Mental Math Workout. Along with medals and prizes for local 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners, each participant received a certificate for achievement for their involvement. National TriMathlon winners were selected from the top three scores in each grade level from all participating Mathnasium locations. The 12 national winners received honors and more than $10,000 in cash prizes.
In 2012, Entrepreneur ranked Mathnasium #112 in the Franchise 500®; in 2011, Mathnasium was ranked #138; in 2010, #176; in 2009, #173; and in 2008, #197. In 2012, Entrepreneur ranked Mathnasium #44 in their list of the Fastest-Growing franchises; in 2011, Mathnasium was ranked #79; and in 2010, #77. In 2012, Entrepreneur ranked Mathnasium #94 in America's Top Global franchises; in 2011, Mathnasium ranked #114; in 2010, #138; in 2009, #135; and in 2008, #98.