Who are you?
Becky Sage, CEO of Interactive Scientific
What do you do?
We bring the invisible scientific world to life through our technology, Nano Simbox. We look at the nano world – so, we’re really talking about atoms and molecules – and turn simulated complex scientific data into something simple and visual so everyone can experience abstract science in an easy way.
We were part of Cohort 5 of the EDUCATE programme.
What educational challenge are you trying to address?
We wanted to give more people the opportunity to engage with science, which can solve many high-level challenges from increasing diversity in STEM to giving STEM professionals a wider range of skills. We bring abstract concepts to life and make them visible so students don’t create unhelpful mental models in their minds of what they look like, we are aiming to achieve increased confidence, understanding and enjoyment in science learning and research. We make sure we use technology to its fullest so that users have an interactive experience. Our aim us to drive curiosity and present science as something that everyone can relate to rather than abstract concepts.8
What impact did the EDUCATE programme have on your product and company?
There has been a significant impact of participation in the EDUCATE programme on the wider members of our team, who have had an opportunity to run with ideas in a safe environment and with the support of the research and business team on the programme. Having access to research evidence is helping us all to drive the development of the product, and we are currently building our own research project in collaboration with the EDUCATE research team to gauge the efficacy of the product.
Being a part of the EDUCATE programme has also allowed us to build expertise into the team, so we now more alert to noticing things we might have missed or not thought of previously.
It hasn’t just been about product efficacy though, it has enabled us to step back and look at the business model, enabling us to crystallise around a model that works best for our business.
We have enjoyed meeting and collaborating with people from UCL, and the other cohort members. EdTech is still relatively new and emerging, but the programme has helped us to pick out what best practice looks like. Being around a peer group going through the same issues and challenges has been an important part of the wider experience.
What advice would you give to prospective EDUCATE participants?
We would recommend they take up the opportunity to join the programme if it arises. Working collaboratively is always easier than in isolation, especially if you are a small company. Sometimes you just need the momentum of others and a community to drive things forward.