Interview with Vassili Philippov, CEO and Co-Founder at Teenage Science Education Platform: MEL Science

MEL Science aims to bring science to life through educational kits, combining hands-on experiments with interactive VR simulations and live lessons – created to help students learn in intuitive, engaging ways. Our award-winning products are designed for children aged 5 – 14 and are intended to be used either as an at-home teaching aid or by schools.

We also have an extensive range of free online resources- which have been viewed over 1 billion times. With these engaging science learning tools, we aim to nurture every child’s natural interest in science, showing them how much more there is to the subject than what they learn from a textbook.

With these engaging experiments, detailed explanations, and accompanying VR deep-dives, we aim to nurture every child’s natural interest in science, showing them how much more there is to the subject than what they learn from a textbook.

MEL Science was created based on the belief that every child is a scientist at heart. Kids are born scientists, asking why things happen constantly.
MEL Science Subscription Kit Review, Now with MEL Codes | Tech Age Kids |  Technology for Children

How did you come up with the idea for the company?

As a parent myself I can see how important science is to our children’s future. The world is increasingly technological and will require more scientific thinkers and problem solvers to meet the challenges of climate change, pandemics, sustainability, food, etc. Even if my children don’t become scientists, they still need the confidence to think critically, to challenge fake news, and to flourish and make the most of opportunities when they’re older.

I’m lucky because I have a background in science and software and I was able to find other passionate educators and scientists who also wanted to make hands-on experiments more accessible and to use new technologies, like simulations and VR, to bring the micro-scale to life and make it intuitive. As we started to research other hands-on science kits we were appalled by how little they were used, and how little educational value they really delivered. That’s when we hit upon the subscription model, it creates the incentive structure for us to continually deliver value, month after month.

Kids can build on their learning without ever getting bored, constantly fuelling their curiosity and interest. The kits enable students to overcome the challenges of learning about science at home, providing them with the necessary equipment to conduct experiments safely. Each kit not only supplements school curriculums, but enriches them – adding to topics already covered, and introducing ideas yet to come. Fundamentally, they help boost engagement, confidence and comprehension.


What advice would you give to other aspiring entrepreneurs?

I would advise any aspiring entrepreneur to find a project that they’re passionate about. My love of science and programming was the basis of this business idea. When I was younger my parents and teachers encouraged me to follow my passions and I went on to win a Physics Olympiad and then a Programming Olympiad.

We hire people with that sort of passion and it makes it easy to develop really cool MEL Science experiments because we know the kinds of experiments that get us excited.

Finding uniqueness is also important. Anyone can do a kitchen science experiment so we have to add value. For example, we’ve developed specific IP around our simulations so we can provide unique interactive simulations that shrink a learner down to the size of an atom so they can experience that invisible world for themselves.

As a consumer brand, holding people’s attention is harder than ever. You need super engaging content to build a community on today’s social media platforms. Luckily for us science is stunningly beautiful. We have a studio-lab with a team of storytellers who use clever video tricks to showcase the wonder and awe of science. Now we have over 3million followers and a billion views, but I wouldn’t have known how to do that for a different subject like maths, for example.

What can we hope to see from MEL Science in the future?

Over the next few months, we will continue to use our Series B funding to engage more deeply with teachers and scientists, to continue to broaden our product offering, and to keep up with growing demand. We also hope to expand into new territories, where we can continue to educate and inspire more audiences.

Our mission is to educate and inspire a new generation of scientists, ignite a passion for STEM subjects, and find more ways to make science the new rock & roll.

The COVID-19 pandemic means that demand for home education kits has grown immensely. We hope that our products will give parents the confidence to help their kids explore science and build on ideas they themselves might not be completely clear on.

But even beyond events of the past year, the potential threat of crises as diverse as climate change, resource scarcity and rising pollution is increasing. This means the need for scientific thinking and adaptable skills is greater than ever. So, we are catering to the next generation by encouraging curiosity and nurturing scientific thinking – we believe our work is invaluable.