Fun Science was started in 2011 with the aim of providing high quality, practical science activities to children aged 4-11. Our branch owners work mainly with primary schools and the parents of primary aged children to provide practical science workshops, birthday parties, after school clubs and holiday clubs. Our franchisees also provide occasional entertainment at festivals, events, theme parks, libraries and we even have links with an indoor skydiving company! Some franchisees also take on tutoring and 1:1 work with children with additional needs. Some companies we have worked with include BBC Bitesize, Butlins, Merlin Entertainments, Camp Bestival and Waitrose.
Our aim is to show children that science is loads of fun and to make it accessible to all. Activities include making robots, rocket launches, slime making, fizzing potions and more.
Fun Science has been offering franchises since 2013 and our first branch was located in North Yorkshire. The owner of this branch later moved to Texas, USA and took her branch with her before reaching retirement age in 2020. Since then, we have started many branches across the UK. Our franchisees come from a range of ages and backgrounds. We have had franchisees join us straight after graduating university, come to us from a performing background and we have many franchisees who were previously working as teachers. Some choose to keep working on other projects on the side (supply work, performing, other small businesses) but most choose to run Fun Science full time, working at after school clubs in the afternoon, home education groups and workshops in the morning, parties at weekends and festivals and clubs in the holidays.
Franchisees choose if they want to offer the full range of services or whether they’d rather stick to weekends only or weekdays only or another working pattern that suits them. Many of our franchisees have taken on assistants to work the days and hours that they would rather have off.
All training is undertaken on a 1:1 basis, giving new branch owners the chance to take things at their own pace, ask questions and go through things with our managing director. We start with a day of training, working through marketing, basic operations, safeguarding, employing staff and the use of key equipment. For example, how to launch a rocket and make perfect slime! Next, is our launch event. This is a marketing opportunity but also a chance for the new branch owner to test out activities with members of the public in their area with our scientist on hand to give support.
After this is an opportunity for additional face to face training. This is optional and a chance to go through anything from the initial training.
Finally, when the new branch owner reaches key stages of their business journey (e.g. employing their first staff member) we are able to provide virtual training or a helpful phone call to guide them through this.
In term time, most franchisees spend an hour or so each morning, responding to emails, ordering kit, checking bookings via the booking system, calling parents and schools or updating social media. Next there may be a workshop booking or a home education group, a meeting with staff or a chance to take a few hours off in the middle of the day. At around 2.30pm, most franchisees either head to a school for an after school club or one of their assistants heads there instead. These clubs run from roughly 3.15-4.15. Branch owners then finish at 4.30pm and head home.
At the weekends, franchisees may choose to run birthday parties. These last for 45 minutes – 2 hours and, with travel, we expect branch owners to be able to run up to 4 per weekend though some do occasionally squeeze in 5 or even 6! Some branch owners may choose to work one day of the weekend, weekend mornings only or employ someone to run parties for them.
In the school holidays, franchisees may choose to run their own holiday clubs, attend festivals, run workshops at libraries or work through HAF (Holiday Activities and Food) funding. Franchisees with children often choose to run sessions that their children can also attend.