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BETT 2020: Hands on science and a virtual reality teaching experience

Last updated:
24th January 2020

MEL Science believes that the best way to learn science is to combine theory with a hands-on approach.

They provide MEL Chemistry subscription boxes with safe experiments delivered to your door monthly. As well as MEL Chemistry VR Lessons which are chemistry lessons in virtual reality following a standard K-12 curriculum.

Edd Stockwell, MEL Science head of partnerships, said: “MEL Science was set up by Science Olympiad champions and some teachers in 2014.It started as a chemistry subscription kit for home use. So every month parents got new experiments to do with their kids. Three of four experiments which took about 20 minutes to do and that proved to be really popular.

“One of the fascinating questions that came out of that, from parents, was we’re loving doing the chemistry but our children actually want to understand the science behind it. Chemistry all happens at the level of the electron so to explain that we had to build a virtual reality simulation of reactions in solids. So we did and that and it comes free with the product for parents to use. Then we had loads of teachers contact us saying ‘Wow, this bit of chemistry is really hard to teach. Kids really struggle to understand how the physical world is linked at the atomic level and what atoms are and we are loving this VR. Can we buy it for our schools?’.

“So on the school side we’ve got this virtual reality app for which we were very lucky to be recognised by BETT at the awards.

“As for the Chemistry Kits we had a bunch of teachers come back and say this is a very expensive way to buy chemicals but it is very convenient, we can just grab it off the shelf and a couple of kids can do little experiments and that is gold dust for us. So it saves teachers a lot of time and is really easy, they don’t need PhD level chemists to do these practicals because we’ve done it for home use and we’ve got loads of them so they asked if they could bulk buy our chemistry kits. So that’s now a thing that we do mostly through retailers and distributors around the world.”

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