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ExploreLearning Frax named as Phase 1 Math Prize finalist for 2022 IES Learning Acceleration Challenges


U.S. Department of Education program seeks to identify and test evidence-based, digital interventions that improve student math achievement

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–ExploreLearning Frax®—a new adaptive, game-based program that helps students learn fractions—has been selected by the Institute of Education Sciences as a Phase 1 Math Prize finalist for the IES Learning Acceleration Challenges, which moves Frax to Phase 2 where partner schools will implement the intervention between November 2022 and April 2023 to evaluate its effectiveness in the classroom.

The U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES) developed the Learning Acceleration Challenges in 2022 to help identify and test interventions to improve math and science achievement. In 2019, results from the Nation’s Report Card showed 54% of fourth graders with disabilities scored below NAEP Basic in mathematics, compared with only 15% of their peers without disabilities. Today, COVID-19 has only compounded the issue.

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The IES Learning Acceleration Challenges Math Prize sought proposals for innovative school-based, digital interventions that could significantly improve math outcomes, specifically focused on fractions, for upper elementary school students with or at risk for disabilities that affect math performance. Judges scored Phase 1 entrants against selection criteria that included the strength of evidence demonstrating the program’s research-based potential to improve math outcomes, program scalability, and the extent to which it aligns with the learning needs of students struggling with mathematics.

We are very honored to be named a Phase 1 Math Prize finalist,” said Dr. David Shuster, president and founder of ExploreLearning. “Fractions knowledge uniquely predicts success in high school math, yet studies show it is the most important foundational math skill not developed among U.S. students. To unblock that critical path to student success, Frax uses recent evidence-based insights into the most effective ways to learn fractions. The ability to take part in Phase 2 gives us the opportunity to validate our approach through the rigorous peer-review that the IES Learning Acceleration Challenges provide.”

In Phase 2, partner schools will implement Frax and Reflex®—an adaptive, game-based program for building math fact fluency also included in the proposal—using a randomized controlled trial (RCT) design to measure changes in student assessment results from fall to spring. IES will use the study results to help choose the 2022 Math Prize Phase 2 winners in September 2023.

The research project lead, Dr. Megan Conrad, recently joined ExploreLearning as part of the company’s expanded efforts to demonstrate the instructional impact of their programs. She brings over ten years of experience in primary research in academia, conducting and publishing research on educational interventions in school settings.

About ExploreLearning

ExploreLearning®, part of Cambium Learning Group, is an education technology company creating seriously fun solutions for the most critical challenges in K-12 STEM learning. Our award-winning digital programs—Gizmos®, Reflex®, Frax® and Science4Us®—create confident math and science learners by delivering experiences that students and teachers know they can count on and are excited to use. Learn more about Serious Fun at

About Cambium Learning Group

Cambium Learning® Group is the education essentials company, providing award-winning education technology and services for K-12 markets. With an intentionally curated portfolio of respected global brands, Cambium serves as a leader in the education space, helping millions of educators and students feel more universally seen, valued and supported each and every day. In everything it does, the company focuses on the elements that are most essential to the success of education, delivering simpler, more certain solutions that make a meaningful difference right now. To learn more, visit or follow Cambium on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Medium. The Cambium family of brands includes: Cambium Assessment, Lexia® Learning, Learning A-Z®, Voyager Sopris Learning®, ExploreLearning®, Time4Learning®, and Kurzweil Education®.



Tammy Weisman

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