Marshmallow Minds was incorporated on March 4th, 2016. We believe it is a sign that guides us to march forth in our endeavors! On March 4th, 2018, I would like to share my experiences as the Secretary, Board of Directors at Marshmallow Minds and celebrate the impact we have been privileged to create in 2017-18 academic year. Thank you Harini, our founder, for inviting me to join the team to serve our community to which we are committed to cultivate a love of learning through exploration and empathy.
Our second academic year at Murdock-Portal Elementary School(Cupertino Union School District) has evolved the “In School” program into covering over 350 kids from kindergartners to 3rd graders. This is a 7X increase in the number of kids benefitting from our In-School program from the previous academic year. Our instructors and coaches have spent over 200 hours of imparting design thinking and STEM education, which is a twenty-fold increase over 2016-17 academic year. The feedback we have received from parents and teachers, about the positive experience kids confidently share with them has humbled us and has reinforced our belief that empathic exploration and learning inspires creative confidence.
Our kids have dreamed, explored, researched and created other solar systems. They also understood the nuances of the genetic impact on vision and muscles of special kids who need more care from the community. Our kids empathized with the needs of these special kids and created ways to help kids with low muscle tone enjoy recess in school. They re-created a stargazing party for kids who suffered from night blindness and could not enjoy the beauty of the night sky. They had fun creating these models of the world from their empathic point of view and collaborated in coming up with these alternate visions of our world. The impact these empathic kids will create when they are leaders promises to be truly unprecedented.
Marshmallow Minds hired its first employee and we also scaled our Board, to enable filing for the 501(3)(c) status which we would be doing in the near future, with the sustained support from our community. We enriched our program to include new design challenges which have helped us uncover new insights in empathy based design. We conducted parent education nights where parents had fun designing roller coasters for the Golden State Warriors and NASA Astronauts. Marshmallow Minds is looking into expanding the program to kids who are being homeschooled, through partnership with Lumen Learning Center. Our professional development program at the center for their trainers was well received by Lumen’s staff.
The Marshmallow Minds team is growing and building our social presence to share the exciting experiences with our community, educators, and partners. We will be unveiling more programs in schools and in the community with your support. We look forward to further enriching our experiences and incorporating fun design challenges, that help our young students understand and explore the world not just from their eyes, but from the others they share this planet with. As a Board Member, I am having fun creating meaningful change in education, society, and increasing the empathic quotient in the community while dreaming of s’more experiences here at Marshmallow Minds!
(Posting by Anand, Secretary, Board of Directors, Marshmallow Minds)