Alumni Business Unruly Studios Launches Unruly Splats
Unruly Studios is a Boston-based edtech start-up that creates interactive games to empower kids with critical STEM skills while encouraging physical play and social engagement.
According to Founder Bryanne Leeming, its products get kids moving around and engaging with the whole room for their first ever experience of Active STEM Play.
Its new product, Unruly Splats, is launching on Kickstarter October 3rd.
- Bryanne Leeming – Founder and CEO, Babson MBA Two Year Program 2016, Babson Summer Venture Program 2015, Babson Women Innovating Now Lab 2015-2016, Babson Rocket Pitch 2015 & 2016
- Paayal Khanna – Marketing Lead, Babson MBA One Year Program 2017
- Amon Millner – Education Lead, Professor at Olin College of Engineering
Why Unruly Studios?
- The next 5 years will see more innovation than the last 50 years.
- 65% of kids will have a future career that does not exist today.
- 2/3 of kids do not get enough exercise every day.
- Kids inactivity today could cost the country $3 trillion future medical expenses.
Unruly Studios produces the only edtech products for kids that makes learning technical STEM skills energetic, playful and fun, says Leeming. “We are creating experiences that ensure all around development for kids – physical, intellectual and social. To become effective problem solvers and future digital creators, kids not only need to be users of technology, but must also learn to ideate, develop, and iterate their solutions, all while making some amazing childhood memories!”
Where did the idea come from?
“I learned to code when I was eight years old playing a computer game at school. Later, that early exposure gave me an advantage in college computer science classes and in my early career in technology. I saw lots of activity in the market of products being introduced to teach kids to code, but in my experience the best way to learn was always from creating real outcomes in the world and from playing fun, memorable games without realizing learning was happening.
I wanted to create an experience for kids so they could develop things that mattered to them, like real games to play with friends. I wanted the experience to meet kids where they were at with the way they like to play, like running around the room and playing with friends. That is where the idea for Unruly Splats came from. Since the initial concept we have tested with over 2,000 kids and parents through many iterations of the product to reach the current product. We are the first active STEM play experience for kids and Unruly Splats will change the way kids play and learn with technology in the future,” Leeming said.
What makes your business unique?
“Our first product, Unruly Splats, teaches kids how to code their own games and then play those games with their friends, leaving the screen aside. Unlike most edtech products, kids do not code an object to move; Unruly Splats makes kids move themselves! They have to run and jump to play the games they created.
SOFTWARE: Learn to code your own games using our simple visual coding interface based on MIT’s Scratch and made using Google Blockly. The language is block-based, so kids can drag and drop blocks to create rules for their Splats. Write code for each Splat, connect them via Bluetooth and let the games begin! The Unruly App will be available for free through iOS, Android, and as a web application.
HARDWARE: Unruly Splats is a set of two electronic floor buttons that light up, make sounds and sense when you jump on them. Unruly Splats challenges kids to apply STEM skills to the real world, creating active games to play with friends. Kids can play classic games like hopscotch, dance routines, obstacle courses, relay races and thousands more!
Unruly Splats is fulfilling the dreams of parents – combining modern e-learning with physical play! It is one thing to see a boat sail, but a totally different skills, experience, attitude and traits to be the sailor on that boat! We want kids to become sailors of the future and to experience the creations they make in the real-world,” Leeming said.
What are your goals for the future?
“In the short term we want to connect with as many people as possible who are excited about combining active play with STEM education for kids. That’s why we chose to launch a crowdfunding campaign through Kickstarter so that we could engage with our early audience and bring them along for the ride of building Unruly Splats and introducing the experience to the world.
Long term we would like to change the way kids interact with technology to make the screen a means to real-world interactions instead of something that comes in the way of it. We want this to be the start of many initiatives to get kids,” she said.
How did Babson help make your business become a reality?
“Active STEM Play. The three pillars that Babson stood on as well: WIN Lab, Butler Launch Pad, professors and the global community of students with thriving ideas and a burning passion to ideate
I came to Babson because I believe that experiential learning is the best way to learn. That belief is infused into Unruly Studios as an experiential learning company where we empower kids to learn by doing.
While at Babson I was able to take advantage of many of the resources and programs offered from Summer Venture Program to the WIN Lab. These were crucial in helping me take next steps with the company, build and grow my team, and ultimately launch our first product, Unruly Splats,” Leeming said.