Backed by an advisory board of prominent researchers, the award-winning Playlunch Games team commences production on an educational platform to combat maths anxiety, slated for international release next year.
Melbourne, Australia – 27 April, 2021 – As education assessments report a trend of low maths competence in students, accomplished Australian developer group Playlunch Games has successfully raised $AUD500k of pre-seed funding to build an educational platform that targets the factors that can lead to maths anxiety in students.
Led by award-winning serial entrepreneurs Wil Monte and Sarah Mercer – whose portfolio includes an educational game that boasts over 150 million downloads and charted at number 1 in 86 countries – the ecosystem will use an immersive, real-time and multiplayer environment to create engagement with maths outside of the classroom.
“We may have seen scores decline as more students fail to achieve a proficient standard, but we have also seen time and time again how a thoughtful application of education, creativity and technology can make a meaningful difference to people’s lives – especially that of young students.” says Monte, Playlunch Games CEO of the endeavour.
Maths competence declines at home and overseas
The impetus comes as international statistics report a lack of improvement in mathematical competence around the world.
According to the most recent OECD Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) report, which measures the mathematics, science and reading skills of 15 year olds and which India has elected to rejoin in 2021, many students are not achieving the national proficient standard of skills which are considered “essential for full participation in society”.
At the same time, STEM subjects are proving to be a major priority for the global future of work. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that employment in maths-heavy occupations will increase by 28% between 2016 and 2026, much faster than the average for all careers.
Maths anxiety a key factor
To leverage the latest research into maths anxiety, Monte and Mercer have partnered with leading psychological researchers and prominent voices for furthering mathematics, Dr Sarah Eason (Purdue University), Dr Sarah Buckley (Australian Council for Educational Research), John Rives (Growth Mindset Institute) and the Mathematical Association of Victoria (MAV). The team has also named Australian education entrepreneur and startup-supporter Bill Lang as chair of its board.
“Our initial product focuses on children aged between 7 and 15 – which our advisory panel agrees is the most vulnerable demographic to the onset of maths anxiety,” Monte explains.
“In the long term, our goal is to positively influence the learning outcomes and wellbeing of millions of children and their families worldwide, so they get the skills they need to cope in a globalised world.”
Playlunch Games has commenced development on the new platform targeted for release in Australia later this year. It will launch in select international markets, including India, from mid 2022.
About Playlunch Games
The team at Playlunch are educational game developer veterans. They bring a collective experience that has seen the creation of global chart-topping games boasting over 100 million downloads, that helped define and lead a genre of digital play-based learning in early childhood language apps, and has developed games to inspire behavioural change in lower-middle-income countries.