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Award-winning Ed-tech startup makes practical science accessible at home

It is no secret that STEM education has become a major focus for UK schools in recent years. Chemistry alum Francis Jones developed STEM@Home to support students with their learning outside of the classroom.

It is no secret that STEM education has become a major focus for UK schools in recent years. As Francis Jones, NTU alum, former secondary school teacher, and founder of STEM@Home expressed “Science education is the key to unlocking a brighter and more sustainable future.”

And yet, with the staffing and policy challenges that many schools are facing, evidence shows that students are missing out on the opportunities to master these subjects and develop the skills that they need to flourish.

Up to 25% of GCSE exam questions are based on practical science experiments, however due to time and logistical constraints, many teachers are only able to run experiments once in the classroom.

This puts students who need more time to grasp a concept, including those with additional needs, at a disadvantage, particularly over those whose schools have the resources to offer extra-curricular learning in this area.

This is where Francis spotted an opportunity to develop STEM@Home. These innovative boxes of lab quality science equipment, provide everything a student needs to carry out GCSE level practical science experiments, at home.

STEM@Home in action

Francis told us ‘STEM@Home developed due to a frustration I had within my own career; how hard it was to get students to catch up with their required practicals. Due to the logistics of co-ordinating when teachers, technicians, students and classrooms were free, I toyed around with the idea of finding a way to let students do their required science practicals outside of the classroom.’

Results of initial user testing suggest that Francis’ pioneering kits are having the desired effect.

‘We were excited to find that the boxes really made a difference! Students who used STEM@Home impressively scored 12%-25% higher in internal examinations, which means an addition of one or two extra grades.’

Francis now wishes to expand this research further and plans to carry out a two-year quantitative case study into the impact that more-accessible science practicals have on students' GCSE Science exam grades.

The start-up is certainly being recognised for its impact. Since launching in late 2022 they have already secured several awards and nominations including 1st place in Brunel University’s Venture competition, and 2nd place in the Mayor of London's Entrepreneur Competition for Social Enterprise.

STEM@Home also made it to the quarter final of the 2022 Santander UK Awards.

Francis continues to set his sights high for the future ‘We want to reach a 40% market share in SEND students or a 2% market share in GCSE science students by 2028 and make ourselves a market leader in equitable science education. He also hopes to expand his company to not only help more students in the UK but also Canada and Australia.

Find out more about Francis here

Award-winning Ed-tech startup makes practical science accessible at home

Published on 27 April 2023
  • Subject area: Sciences including sport sciences
  • Location: Clifton Campus

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