British Robotics Seed Fund Invests in Magpie EducationJanuary 28, 2018
AI driven lesson planning and assessment tool secures £300,000 to encourage uptake of STEM subjects in the UK
Magpie Education, a firm that aims to inspire students in STEM subjects, through its engaging, cost-effective, AI driven resource tool, has secured seed investment from the British Robotics Seed Fund (BRSF).
The investment sees Magpie Education join a portfolio of UK firms in robotics related fields, from Zoa Robotics to Botskill and Tethered Drone Systems. Funding will be used to market and develop the tool for UK schools, and expand internationally, in the future.
Magpie Education launches in Spring 2018 with plans to grab a share of the UK EdTech market, which is expected to reach £3.4 billion by 2021 and is growing 22% year on year. UK EdTech companies are predicted to grow, on average, at 29% a year, over the next two years, based on 102 start-ups.
Tackling low levels of interest in STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics), and the shortage of skilled teachers, Magpie Education provides a platform that incorporates lesson planning, curriculum mapped activities; tailored learning journeys and training (CPD), to deliver inspiring STEM lessons. Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning, the tool helps teachers to accurately assess students’ progress to improve learning outcomes.
Laurence Ellis, CEO of Magpie Education commented: “We have piloted our tool in a number of schools in the UK, and have identified a strong requirement to ensure our children receive good quality STEM teaching. Through automated assessment and progress monitoring, we are using AI to a high level, with the platform predicting and recommending learning pathways for individual students with personalised content based on their progress.”
The simple to use resource tool enables teachers to cross over from other subject areas and teach Computer Science, which is crucial for primary schools with limited teaching resources. Pre-prepared cross-curricula lessons incorporate emerging technologies, such as robotics.
Dominic Keen, CEO of Britbots (who are part of Innovation Martlesham) concluded: “To catch up with STEM teaching on a global scale, we need more tools like Magpie Education’s. We invested as the business has a proven model in a dynamic market, with a highly capable CEO and management team with deep experience in EdTech at the helm.
“The British robotics scene is diverse, and this EdTech start up is looking to shape the future of STEM teaching with a tool based on artificial intelligence and machine learning. With its help, we should see the UK’s pool of scientists, engineers and technologists grow as we compete to develop emerging technologies.”