Startup in the spotlight: WisMon
Good mathematics and science education is important for filling all the vacancies in the region, both now and in the years ahead. However, not everyone finds mathematics and science equally easy or enjoyable. Hence WisMon's vision: to make mathematics and science fun and accessible to everyone.
From extra maths lessons to robotics and VR
Madelon Rietveld is an educational developer at WisMon: ‘WisMon is a mathematics and science education institute. The company has branched out in new directions. Although WisMon started out small, it has now grown into a company with 25 permanent employees and a large team of students. We work on various themes and, in addition to science subjects, specialise in inquiry & design-based learning, robotics & programming, virtual reality and language learning. We organise deficiency courses here in Utrecht and in Amsterdam, provide teacher training and guest lessons throughout the country and produce a great deal of customised teaching material on commission.’
Accessible to everyone
At WisMon, everything revolves around the company’s mission: to make mathematics and science more fun and accessible to everyone. It is made more enjoyable by means of all kinds of projects, as was recently the case on Cultural Sunday when WisMon put together a programme in conjunction with University Museum Utrecht. Rietveld touches on the other part of the mission, accessibility: ‘Well-educated people, such as refugees, come to the Netherlands on a regular basis. Physicists will have a strong theoretical basis, but they can come to us to learn the exact terms in Dutch.’ However, accessibility also goes beyond this. ‘We focus on all children and adults. We believe that everyone should have a chance to come into contact with mathematics and science and get excited about it, not just the stereotypical little boy with educated parents or the science teacher.’
At home in all scientific markets
‘Our strength lies in our specialist team and collaborations with various partners. With our teachers, students and educational developers, we can advise and support pupils, teachers, schools and companies in various different ways. For example, we work with the Utrecht-based September Onderwijs for further training for teachers and VR Owl for virtual reality. We also develop appealing projects with Robots in de klas and create teaching materials for publishers. As a result, we are constantly developing new training courses, (guest) lessons and teaching materials. In addition, people can always come to us for customised projects.’ With regard to future plans, Rietveld says: ‘We want to enhance our current range even further and become a really broad-based advice and expertise centre when it comes to mathematics and science education for schools, learners and teachers.’