Castle School 1950 | Catherine Stern teaching her 2 year-old grandson Fred with Pattern Boards

Catherine Stern began developing the Stern Structural Arithmetic method in the 1920s. With a doctorate in physics and a certificate in the Montessori method, Catherine was convinced that children readily grasp the essential concepts of arithmetic through hands-on experience when motivated by their own curiosity.

Castle School 1951 | Pupil building a number stair in a 10-Box

She met Albert Einstein in 1942; he wrote to the Oberlander Foundation on her behalf, “I believe that her idea is sound and would be of real value in the teaching of the elements of arithmetic.”. 

In 1944 she started Castle School and five years later she published Children Discover Arithmetic

Catherine won two Carnegie Research Grants and published her method with Houghton Mifflin in the 1950s. A set of the manipulatives is in the Smithsonian collection.

2005 | Margaret Stern reviews the new English edition of workbook

With her daughter Toni Gould and her daughter-in-law Margaret “Peggy” Stern, Catherine wrote subsequent editions of the arithmetic workbooks and developed Stern Structural Reading.

1992 | Michael Stern sees all that can be done with Set B

Peggy’s son Fred with his wife Lois started Stern Math in 2007, arranging for the wooden manipulatives to be locally manufactured by Maple Landmark. Their son Michael has joined them helping to bring Stern Math into the 21st century. We believe in an education that sustains curiosity for a lifetime of learning.