For many parents and teachers, video games that teach kids to love math are the answer to their prayers
Parents: do you want your kids to excel at STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) subjects?
Is that a trick question?
In an age of growing middle class insecurity, a career in engineering or computer science strikes many parents as the ticket to their child’s future well-being. But not all kids like math and science nor have an easy time learning those subjects.
That’s why math educational products like Matific, which just received a $12-million Series A round in funding, are all the rage these days.
The product was developed by the Israeli company Slate Science.
Matific is a series of math video games that its developers say are designed to bring “aha!” moments to learning math. It is in use by more than 15,000 teachers worldwide, 10,000 of them in the United States. The product is designed for classroom and home use by children in grades kindergarten through 6 and is aligned with the New National Math Curriculum (UK) and the Common Core (USA).
Available in seven languages, it can be used on the web or as a mobile app. Though it is free for use at schools, parents must purchase access for their child for $36 per year.
A less than three-year-old company with more than $12 million – for kids
Slate Science was founded in late 2012 and the Matific website, iPad and Android apps were launched in September 2014.
Guy Vardi, CEO of Slate Science, explained in a statement that, “Matific appeals to children’s love of playing games. By making math interactive and hands-on, children learn the important fundamentals and enjoy the process of learning more. We’re proud of the product we’ve made and even more proud of the children who are learning because of it.”
The funding, according to one source, came from “existing angel investors.” Past investors have included Benny Schnaider, Roni Einav and Leon Kamevev.
The company is reportedly planning to use the funds to expand further into South America and Asia.
Math and educational video games are the convergence of two trends: parents’ desire to see their kids excel in STEM subjects and the increasing popularity of gamification, which taps into our dopamine-based incentive structure.