MYSTERY SCIENCE ANNOUNCES 1 MILLION STUDENTS, RAISES $2M ADDING Y COMBINATOR
Former Facebook Product Manager and Former LePort Schools Science Director Team Up to Create Open-and-Go Lessons That Inspire Kids to Love Science with Funding from LearnCapital, NewSchool Ventures, 500 Startups, and More
San Francisco - June 28, 2014 -- Mystery Science, which helps teachers without a science background teach incredible science lessons, today announced it has raised $2M in Series Seed funding and that over a million children experienced Mystery Science in the classroom last year.
This round of funding adds Y Combinator to their line-up of existing investors including LearnCapital, Reach Capital, and 500 Startups. The funding will be used to fuel already rapid growth and expand the team as Mystery Science continues on its mission to ensure every child develops a lifelong ability to solve problems.
“The elementary years are the critical years to develop children’s ability to solve problems. Every child who is 4 or 5 years old is insatiably curious. They ask questions constantly such as, ‘Why is the sky blue?’, ‘What do blind people see?’, ‘Why is there sand on beaches?’,” continues Keith Schacht, co-founder and CEO, “But most questions children ask, the teachers and parents in their lives are not sure how to answer. If we don’t develop children’s ability to figure out answers to their questions, by middle school and high school, most children stop asking and lose the curiosity they once had.”
Every month, teachers in more than 10% of elementary schools in the U.S. use Mystery Science to ensure their students stay curious. Each lesson is a mystery that re-creates the process of scientific discovery. Beginning with real questions that children ask, the teacher presents a series of video clues, leads discussions, and guides students to solve the mystery by building a model or conducting an experiment in class.
Mystery Science was founded by former Facebook product manager for News Feed Keith Schacht and award-winning science teacher Doug Peltz. With a team of just under twenty people, more than 4% of elementary schools in the U.S. became paying customers in a single year with zero sales staff.
"Children spend more than a thousand hours sitting in science class by the time they graduate high school, yet too often even college graduates lack a scientific understanding of the world or an ability to figure things out for themselves. The problem is that science is taught backwards rather than forwards. Children are memorizing the conclusions of science without learning how scientific problems were solved in the first place. We offer elementary teachers and students a new approach,” said Doug Peltz, co-founder and Chief Explainer at Mystery Science.
Schacht and Peltz started Mystery Science for one reason: in their view, “the only thing holding back human progress is the number of human beings capable of solving problems. We’re increasing that number in the next generation.”
About Mystery Science:
Mystery Science creates explanations for kids’ questions. Their first set of explanations is a series of videos used by teachers. These videos are a science curriculum replacing conventional lessons. The videos answer kids’ questions in a way that teaches them how to solve problems for themselves. Active in 10% of schools in the U.S. and growing quickly, Mystery Science is on a mission to increase the rate of human progress by increasing the number of problem solvers in the next generation. Founded in 2014 and based in San Francisco, Mystery Science is venture backed by Y Combinator, LearnCapital, Reach Capital, and 500 Startups.