02 Sep 2015

Startup profile: Mathscraft

By Jessica

In the run up to BGV Demo Day on 16th September we’re profiling the 10 startups on our summer accelerator programme. In today’s instalment Prathap Chandran and David Sutherland tell us about Mathscraft. 

What’s the big problem you’re trying to solve?

Children are often made to feel inadequate in maths. Teaching to the test has resulted in children losing interest and motivation in maths, and this reflects in their numeracy attainment over the years. The magnitude of the problem is so great that over 75% of 16 year olds leaving school lack essential numeracy skills for life, according to a National Numeracy report.

What’s your solution?

We build multiplayer maths games where children compete and collaborate with each other to solve maths problems. Our objective is to bring the fun back into maths using games, leading to higher engagement resulting in higher attainment. We do this by building games that can be played by the entire classroom. Children play with or against each other in pairs or teams, and the challenges are tailored to every child’s ability, so they stay motivated.

Our first game on timestables has had a positive impact on children’s attitudes towards maths in the schools that play our game. Our games will go on and cover every single topic in the maths national curriculum, creating an exciting environment for teachers and children to teach and learn maths.

What’s your experience with that problem?

Prathap is a Maths tutor in a primary school in Islington and sees considerable knowledge gaps in the children he teaches there. The focus on year six SATs notwithstanding, the children have faced an uphill challenge in engaging with maths. We are building our games directly working with these children to understand their motivations and help them in their journey.

David runs coding clubs for primary school children, and he is well aware of the problems the children face with their maths skills in order to apply them to coding. He often breaks into a maths session in the middle of a coding session to reinforce the children’s fundamental understanding of maths concepts.

How will this impact the lives of millions?

The immediate impact is higher numeracy attainment in primary schools in the UK. Beyond this, our vision is to provide a platform where any child anywhere in the world can access quality and fun maths games.

How can people help? 

We are looking to talk to primary teachers, head teachers, Maths co-ordinators and local education authorities to trial our product and give us feedback.

website: www.mathscraft.com
twitter: @mathscraftgame
facebook: mathscraft
email: prathap@scidice.co.uk / david@scidice.co.uk