MEL Chemistry, a series of subscription-based chemistry sets for kids aged 9 to 13 years old that was reported by Electronics360 in 2017, was just the beginning. The London-based maker of the sets, MEL Science, has raised $6 million from investors to launch a new subscription service for kids 5 to 10 years old.

The monthly service, MEL Kids, visually translates difficult-to-understand science concepts through hands-on experiments, an accompanying illustrated comic book and a lesson delivered via augmented reality app. Topics include energy, mechanics, optics, pressure, sound, static electricity and others. The projects can be seen as building blocks for a home science museum: Kids will make batteries, cameras, music boxes, rockets and…the list goes on.

According to a company press release, the aim is to teach kids to approach and solve real-life problems logically by equipping them with an understanding of the scientific principles behind everyday objects.

It’s an important goal: MEL Science cites a projection stating that around 75% of jobs in the fastest-growing industries will soon require STEM skills. The company, which is comprised of educators and scientists, adds that experience in scientific inquiry aids in the development of critical-thinking skills that are applicable to any field of study.

Both the virtual reality-powered MEL Chemistry sets, which are currently available in five languages and delivered to 42 countries, and the new MEL Kids experiments have an additional goal: using the motivator of screen time as a positive. “Given the choice between studying and smartphones, children will often eagerly opt for the latter, and science education needs to adapt for a chance to win their attention back,” the company explained.

The MEL Kids series costs $24.95 per month and is currently available only in the U.S., although the company plans to roll it out to other countries soon. For more information, visit MEL Kids online.

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