The end game is achieving a much larger pipeline of pupils actually “liking” science and wanting to pursue it as a career. He is of the belief that engaging primary school children as early as possible is a crucial first step towards creating first-rate scientists of the future, who will help the UK maintain a technological advantage in an increasingly competitive global market. “Improved awareness, knowledge and teaching of science at primary level significantly enhances transition skills; so that’s the starting point,” he said. The secret formula is regular “wow factor” practical science lessons that children can try for themselves in small groups. Being first to market in this sector, Empiribox aims to become the dominant market leader of primary school science support and equipment in the UK. According to Sullivan, “Making the progression from a purely chalk and talk approach to science, or none at all, to conducting regular and varied practical science experiments throughout KS2, requires equipping primary school teachers with complete sets of science equipment and teaching materials. It also demands ongoing teacher mentoring and training to make sure they gain and maintain the necessary confidence and skills to engage and inspire young minds. “Empiribox can cost-effectively fulfil all of these requirements for thousands of UK primary schools, ensuring pupils move on to secondary school with a solid skills-set and grounding in practical science and other core STEM subjects, while also improving literacy. The system encourages children to ask and test scientific questions and develop ‘Investigative skills’; it stimulates their enthusiasm for science as well as enhancing their understanding of the scientific process, particularly the limitations of experimental design. “Add to that the removal of stress, time and anxiety for teachers and schools around planning the annual science curriculum, and there’s every chance it will boost the school’s results in the core science skills they need. “Not only do the children themselves deserve a proper science education, but the economy is dependent on significantly increasing the number of STEM graduates each year, and many studies considering this problem recognise this can best be achieved by enthusing and enthralling children at an early age.” Following the success of its initial launch, Empiribox launched its second equity crowdfunding campaign on Crowdcube to raise funds to continue expansion. With its recurring revenue model, the company is forecasting a doubling of the current £500,000 total sales turnover, achieved since sales commenced 18 months ago. Demand has accelerated significantly in recent months, with 75 per cent of the total value of annual subscriptions achieved so far taking place since April 2015.
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