On the 5th November 2011, Cressida Bullock ran the first ever Fun Science party. It was an Amazing Electrics party for two, eight-year-old boys and was held in a home in Bath. Eight years on, Fun Science is celebrating its eighth birthday and a few things have changed!
Firstly, the Amazing Electrics party no longer exists on its own but has been incorporated into the Chemical/Electrical extravaganza (70 minutes) and the Fantastic Physics package (60 minutes) which also includes a rocket launch and fog rings! Fun Science now also runs regular workshops, after school clubs and holiday clubs as well as the original birthday party which is still just as popular!
Perhaps one of the biggest changes has been the spreading of Fun Science across the country through franchised branches. In 2014, the first Fun Science franchise was sold in North Yorkshire and a new branch owner, Lightning Liz, started inspiring children in her area with parties, workshops and clubs. Since then, Liz has gone on to start a Fun Science branch in Killeen, Texas and the North Yorkshire branch has been taken over by a new branch owner, Atomic Allegra.
The aim when creating the franchise opportunity was to create something that gave prospective branch owners absolutely everything that they would need to start up their own business, making science fun for children, but for less money than it would cost them to buy those things on their own. This is achieved by the sharing of resources, such as promotional photos and videos, and contracts between all the different branch owners.
Following the success of the North Yorkshire branch, Fun Science has set up branches in Cheshire, Dorset, West Lancs, Bury/Rochdale, Sunderland, Shropshire, Glasgow and Sheffield. Plus, the entire package was translated into French for a branch in Romandy, Switzerland. Each branch is run by a ‘branch owner’ or franchisee, who runs hands on scientific services for children in their own exclusive area and retains all the profits from the services they run. Some branches are even run by two people, whether that's a husband and wife team or just two friends who have wanted to start up in business together.
Over the years, branch owners have ranged from parents looking for more flexibility to be able to work around their children, teachers looking for a new career and actors/actresses looking for a different type of ‘performing’ to people looking to fit a business around another job or course of study. Branch owners are both men and women and the current age range is from 27 – 62.
Speaking about what it feels like to have seen Fun Science grow over the past eight years Cressida says “I feel privileged to have had a part in so many children’s lives and to have heard so many children tell me that, because of a Fun Science club or party, they now want to be a scientist when they grow up. I am also delighted to have been able to help so many new branch owners achieve their dreams of starting up a business working with children. Running my own Fun Science branch has given me so many opportunities that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. Just 2 weeks ago I worked at an event with the DeLoreon car from Back to the Future and have previously performed at Butlins, Minehead which was a life-long ambition of mine. ”
Fun Science certainly isn’t slowing down yet with plans for more branches in the pipeline and some exciting partnerships lined up for the coming year.