The Zeno Story

The Zeno Story

Founded in 2003 as Explorations in Math, Katie Klein, Karen Anderson, Laura Larson and Norman Alston from Laura Ingalls Wilder Elementary decided to do something about the negative math culture they saw affecting children and adults alike. Inspired by Norm’s innovative approach to teaching and successful parent-led programs, they set out to engage with elementary school communities in the Seattle area.

By 2012, Explorations in Math had worked with over 40 elementary schools throughout the Puget Sound area and as far as Chicago, built strong partnerships with the Pacific Science Center and many community organizations, held hundreds of events with thousands of families filling gyms and classrooms to play math together. Then it was time for a new look…

Meet Zeno.

Zeno is about the infinite possibilities that arise from an individual’s relationship with math. The name ‘Zeno’ honors Greek philosopher Zeno of Elea – one of the first people to talk about the concept of infinity. We believe that when math is engaging, fun and accessible it can have a transformational impact on a person’s life.

Every child deserves to be great at math. It is the foundation for a lifetime of learning. But not all kids have access to the same opportunities to develop competence and confidence in math early in life. This creates an opportunity gap that is leaving some students behind. If we can step in and encourage a love for math early in a child’s life, everything can change.

In 2015, the next evolution of Zeno began.MathFest '10 216_366x342

In order to focus our resources on closing the opportunity gap, Zeno is partnering with communities with the greatest need and has expanded programming to engage kids in positive math experiences even earlier in life. This new direction is grounded in Zeno’s core strengths, established research, and proven successes.

With this renewed focus, Zeno is launching key initiatives including MathWays for Early Learning and a re-imagined Family Math Night Series.  We’re piloting these programs exclusively with early learning and elementary communities with the greatest need as indicated by:

  • 70% or greater Free and Reduced Lunch Rate; and
  • Performing below the state average on 4th grade math assessments; or
  • Below the state average on Washington Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills (WaKIDS).

This brings Zeno in alignment with the Road Map Project, a region-wide effort aimed at improving education in South King County and South Seattle, and ensures that we’re working to close the opportunity gap for students in our region.

Do you have a question about Zeno’s new direction? Please visit our FAQ page or contact Julie Marl, Executive Director, at or 206-325-0774.

We are Zeno and we are building Math Powered communities.