Our mission is to bring about lasting change in education. We believe education should be interactive, interpretive, engaging and rarely the same for two children. Through the creation of powerful learning games, each student will grow and develop at their own speed, and on their own path. We believe that you don’t have to sacrifice learning content to make something fun!
In 2012, while completing a Master’s degree at SMU, David B. Skaggs (SumBlox – Inventor) volunteered as a tutor at the Saigling Elementary School in Plano, Texas. While tutoring a Math student named Elijah and looking for new ways to keep him engaged, David tried countless existing games. From card games to digital apps, but nothing managed to keep his interest.
It wasn’t Elijah’s lack of attention that made him lose interest. Those math games were simply not designed well enough to hold a child’s attention for more than 10 minutes. They also didn’t make the concepts any easier to understand, but often just rephrased paper exercises.
While planning a lesson for Elijah, David tried to think of something that would help him envision numbers. When doing basic math, imagining combinations of numbers with actual height value and then stacking those numbers to find the sum, can help when being introduced to new math ideas. This skill can help break down problems quickly. Taking these concepts and applying them to a stacking game seemed to fit building blocks extremely well.
In January of 2013, David began cutting SumBlox prototypes out of wood in his father’s garage in Utah. He returned to Texas in March and went back to Saigling Elementary School with a few sets of SumBlox. Of course, Elijah was the first student to utilize them. The most rewarding part of creating SumBlox is seeing them being enthusiastically applied and enjoyed.
After a year of hard work, SumBlox was launched on Kickstarter, and in October of 2014 endorsed by Keith Devlin and an article in Forbe’s magazine by Jordan Shapiro. From then SumBlox has grown as a family business, to something that is now sold around the World.