Twig World secures £3.5m for education videos

Twig World aims to help inspire the next generation of scientists. Picture: Imperial College London/Colin Whyman
Twig World aims to help inspire the next generation of scientists. Picture: Imperial College London/Colin Whyman
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Glasgow digital media company Twig World has received a £3.5 million injection from Imperial College London to help make education videos for the “YouTube generation”.

The partnership will include the creation of professional resources for secondary teachers of science, technology, engineering and maths, referred to collectively as Stem subjects. The agreement will help Imperial College meet its strategic commitment to inspire scientists, engineers and medical professionals of the future by raising aspirations and supporting learning.

Founded in 2009 by Anthony Bouchier and Catherine Cahn, Twig World is a major producer of digital educational resources. Using archived footage, it has already made more than 3,000 videos on Stem subjects using the world’s only production studio dedicated to short-form content for education.

“For the YouTube generation, seeing is understanding,” said Bouchier, Twig World’s chief executive. “Twig has unique agreements with the BBC and other film archives to take some of its outstanding factual footage and re-purpose it into short three-minute films related directly to the science curricula around the world.”

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Owned by its founders, publisher DC Thomson and the venture capital arm of Scottish Enterprise, Twig World’s products are used by 80,000 teachers in 72 countries and 15 languages. Its videos have been available in every state school in Scotland since 2011 via a contract with Education Scotland.

Imperial and Twig World are supporting primary teachers throughout the UK with Reach Out CPD. Launched in October 2014, Reach Out is a digital programme that provides teachers with knowledge and skills to engage students in the wonders of science.

It is a key part of Twig World’s Stem Improvement Programme, a national intervention to provide secondary school teachers with the training and tools to teach problem-solving, contextual learning and analytical skills. A recent assessment by the Ministry of Education in Malaysia found the programme significantly boosted scores in science assessments.

“We are delighted to be partnering with one of the world’s leading universities in continuing our mission to make Stem subjects relevant and engaging to all school children,” Bouchier said. “Our production team have enjoyed our collaboration with Imperial over the past two years and are excited about extending our work together.”

The investment comes at a significant time of growth for Twig World, whose revenues were up by more than 80 per cent in the last declared trading year. Annual turnover in the coming 12 months is expected to reach £6m.