Math Snacks are games and animations that convey math in creative, visual, and applied ways. Players explore imaginative worlds where they build skill with ratios, number groups, expressions, place value, order of operations, and graphing relationships. Mathematics educators, mathematicians, learning specialists and game developers collaborated to develop and test materials and conduct integrated research activities, professional development of teachers, and investigation into impact on learners. Accompanying teacher and learner tools support an inquiry-based approach grounded in theory-based pedagogy and the construction, not just transmission, of knowledge.
Math Snacks is a multidisciplinary project of New Mexico State University, originally brought together by Dr. Karin Wiburg, and later led by Dr. Karen Trujillo, both with NMSU’s College of Health, Education, and Social Transformation. Math Snacks materials were developed with support from the National Science Foundation (0918794). Some materials were originally prototyped or discussed as part of a cooperative agreement from the U.S. Department of Education (U295A050004).
Dr. Barbara Chamberlin
Innovative Media Research and Extension • Learning Games Lab
New Mexico State University
Math Snacks Team
Karin Wiburg, Ed.D.
Karin Wiburg is a Professor Emeritus from New Mexico State University (NMSU). She worked at NMSU as a faculty member in Learning and Technology for 25 years and as the Associate Dean for Research. Her work in mathematics education began as a mathematics specialist in K-8 settings over 40 years ago and has continued in her work in higher education. Her research has included several NSF-funded projects including Math Snacks which turned ideas on teaching mathematics differently into successful interventions using games, animations, and extensive hands-on, minds-on inquiry. As a semi-retired professor she still helps teachers with Math Snacks, works as a program evaluator, and spends a lot of time painting for fun.
Karen Trujillo, PhD
Lead PI (2016–2019) [in memoriam]
D. Trujillo was a professional educator: a teacher, a principal, a professional development specialist, a grant writer, a grant administrator, a grant evaluator, a project director, an evaluation specialist, a testing administrator, an online instructor, and a conference planner. She served as Secretary of Education for the State of New Mexico, and Superintendent of Las Cruces Public Schools. Her speciality areas included mathematics education and technology integration, and directed research on Math Snacks in addition to serving as lead PI. She passed away in February 25, 2021.
Barbara Chamberlin, PhD
Co-PI and Director of Math Snacks development. Professor, NMSU Learning Games Lab
Dr. Barbara Chamberlin is Professor and Extension Specialist with New Mexico State University (NMSU) Innovative Media, Research and Extension department She directs the NMSU Learning Games Lab where she oversees research, instructional design, and testing for a variety of online learning tools. Her research activities include formative review of games in development regarding interface and character design, storyline, accessibility and playability of games.
Co-PI (2018–2021). Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education, NMSU School of Teacher Preparation, Administration & Leadership
Dr. Christopher Engledowl is an Assistant Professor of mathematics education and quantitative research methods with New Mexico State University. Since 2017, he led efforts to construct an early algebra assessment to align with Agrinautica, Curse Reverse, and Creature Caverns, and associated lesson plans. Beginning in 2018, he took up a role as Co-PI to lead the research efforts for the Math Snacks Early Algebra project. These activities include drawing on the AERA, APA, and NCME (2014) Standards for Testing document to collect various forms of validity evidence to support a validity argument for the assessment, including expert panel review, field testing of items, cognitive interviews with students, and Rasch analysis. Larger research efforts to examine impacts of the intervention have further included factor analysis, ANOVA, and Hierarchical Linear Modeling to uncover any teacher level differential effects on student learning outcomes associated with game play and lesson engagement.
Pamela N. Martinez, EdD
Assistant Professor & Extension Learning Technology Specialist
Dr. Pamela N. Martinez is an Assistant Professor of Learning Technologies with New Mexico State University’s Innovative Media Research and Extension Department and its Learning Games Lab. Dr. Martinez oversees product development for grant-funded research projects. Dr. Martinez has over 20 years’ experience creating educational media and games.
Jeanne Gleason, EdD
Professor Emeritus, Department of Innovative Media Research and Extension
Dr. Gleason has spent her career keeping NMSU on the cutting edge of technologies, whether this meant touch-screen systems on the Navajo nation or, most recently, the Learning Games Lab, creating mobile apps and educational games. She has been part of more than 200 individual grants and contracts worth over $50 million. Her interactive media products are in use internationally and by numerous federal agencies, universities and school systems.
Matheus Cezarotto, PhD
Postdoc researcher, NMSU Learning Games Lab
Dr. Matheus Cezarotto researches accessibility affordances of the Math Snacks games, working with the development team to make the games accessible to a wide range of learners. His published work focuses on building a research-based understanding of instructional and information design, specifically to design meaningful educational media supporting learners’ variability.
Director, Multimedia Unit
As studio manager, Adrian art directs and oversees the production of all games, interactive and animations created by our multimedia team.
Originally from Juarez, Mexico, Adrian is an NMSU alumnus (BFA) and holds an MFA from the University of North Texas. Having a background in art, design and front-end development, Adrian's comprehensive understanding of digital media production helps the studio continuously explore new techniques for illustration, animation, web, mobile and accessibility.
Programming Lead at NMSU Learning Games Lab, Manager of the Web Unit
CC has been designing and developing games for decades, having created or collaborated on dozens of games over the years. He participates regularly in game jams, and creates digital puppets for use in the haunt industry (which he uses in his own "Carnival of Souls" Halloween attraction). When he's not making software to entertain or educate, he enjoys spending time with family and friends, watching his kids perform in shows, or walking his dog, Walter.
Director, Video Unit
Tomilee Turner captures educational concepts through the lens of a video camera. Even after 25 years with the department, she treats every project as an opportunity to try something new and create media that’s relevant, and effective for the learners.
David enjoys playing and making video games and gets satisfaction from seeing other people using games and apps he has made. David does work on Math Snacks and is particularly proud of Ratio Rumble and Game Over Gopher.
Colleagues have noted David's childlike infatuation with penguins, and in fact he dreams of one day becoming a penguin himself.
Mohammad worked as a research assistant for Math Snacks/Early Algebra Project. He participated in collecting and analyzing. He was the co-author of one of the Math Snacks Team publications "Learning acquired from a computer game-based early algebra intervention".
Mohammad is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the department of Curriculum & Instruction at NMSU with a focus on learning design and technology, teaching mathematics online.
Amanda LaTasha Armstrong
Games Lab Coordinator
Amanda LaTasha led Think Tanks and user testing in the Learning Games Lab. She worked on the Math Snacks Pre-Algebra project and with formative testing of products. She is currently pursuing doctoral studies in the department of Curriculum & Instruction at NMSU with a focus on learning design and technology, early childhood, and multicultural education.
IT Accessibility Specialist
Luis reviews and remediates documents uploaded to the college webpage and supports document accessibility efforts of all the ACES departments and 4-H. He also supports the multimedia team with product QA and testing accessibility affordances of multimedia.
Ruth Torres Castillo, PhD
Postdoctoral researcher, NMSU Computer Science Department
Dr. Ruth Torres Castillo researches the integration of Technology in the classrooms, working with elementary and high school teachers to support the use of computer games and computing tools as part of the curriculum. She worked on the Math Snacks Pre-Algebra project with formative testing of products and development/testing of supporting hands-on activities. She is currently working as a postdoctoral researcher in the department of Computer Science at NMSU focusing on CS Education, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion efforts.
Amy has worked with Math Snacks during Learning Games Lab Think Tank youth programs and user testing, and as part of the team responsible for QA testing and accessibility testing. She is a master's student in the Marriage and Family Therapy program. Her career goal is to become a therapist with her own private practice.
Amanda Chase aids in the development of the department's products in interesting and unique ways. From marketing to audio recording, Amanda loves dabbling in different areas of the game design process. With a B.A. from Denison University in English Literature and Spanish, Amanda loves learning new languages and pondering how those languages shape our own perceptions and modes of learning. When Amanda is not changing the world one game at a time you can find her on her yoga mat or continuously seeking the affection of her kitty Bagheera.
Frank has been a gamer since the moment he could hold his own game controller. He really enjoys creating fun experiences with a team of like minded people and getting teammates to have a laugh. Frank’s main focus for the team is to program games and interactive websites. Frank has a B.S. in Game Design from Full Sail University.
Evan is an illustrator, animator and a student worker for the studio. He graduated from Doña Ana Community College with an Associates degree in Creative Media Technology in 2018, and currently enrolled at NMSU in order to complete his Bachelors in Animation and Visual Effects.
A Las Cruces native, Anastasia graduated from NMSU with a bachelor of arts in Animation and Visual Effects. At work, Anastasia creates art and animation for educational media and contributes to product design. In her spare time, she enjoys making customized dolls and chilling with her cat, Mr. Man.
Phillip McVann. A true artiste. Phil wields pencil and paper as an extension of his own body. His skill does not stop at the physical; his imagination is always a few steps ahead anticipating potential pitfalls in the design process.
Like a true sage. Phil is not afraid to jump in blind to a project and spearhead the concept art phase, allowing the rest of the team to follow his torch through the murky waters. Yet this same regal soul will act the follower without hesitation, trusting in the team. Phil's mild temper and great attitude inspire us all to be more like him in and out of the office.
Sr. Program Manager
Sara served as the liaison between math content experts, the Learning Games Lab staff, and research schools. She led the implementation of the math snacks products in elementary school classrooms, including the development of lesson plans, gathering real-time data, student assessments, teacher feedback and professional learning.
Originally from Puerto Rico, Sara is an NMSU alumnus and holds a Master of Arts in teaching with endorsements in TESOL and Modern/Classical Languages. Having a background in education, Sara continuously explores ways to bridge gaps for underrepresented students.
Amy Smith Muise
Amy has worked on text and narrative of Math Snacks and accompanying teacher and learner guides, as well as analytics, reporting, user testing, promotion and partnerships for distributing the games and animations around the web. Her kids make fun of her for voicing the lady with the clown car in Scale Ella.
Miloš Savić, PhD
Dr. Miloš Savić is an Associate Professor at the University of Oklahoma. As a graduate student, Miloš worked on the Math Snacks group in beginning game development, classroom materials, and professional development for elementary and middle school teachers. Now, Miloš does research on mathematical creativity in undergraduate classrooms, both with the fostering of creativity and students’ changes in mathematical identities.
Senior Multimedia Designer
Elizabeth Sohn has an MFA in graphic design from NMSU and is the Senior Multimedia Designer at NMSU Innovative Media Research and Extension. She heads the design of web pages, interactive modules, and print materials, and acts as project lead for various projects. She loves being in a creative atmosphere and getting to see creative artwork and ideas come to life.
Jesús H. Trespalacios, Ph.D.
Jesús collaborated with Math Snacks during Learning Games Lab Think Tank, game design, and user testing. He also co-authored several journal articles regarding the design process of educational games and the implementation of games and animations in the mathematics classroom. He is currently an associate professor in the Department of Educational Technology at Boise State University.