27 July 2017 - 11:02 am

Bright Toys wins £855 to get more kids into STEM

“My name is Kisha Bradley and 20 years ago, I had my mind blown.”

This was the opening to Kisha’s pitch at Sheffield SOUP last night that would win her an £855 grant to buy tools and equipment to run interactive workshops designed to get more kids interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

She described how at an event held by her school, she saw a woman in a white lab coat demonstrating a science experiment where she dipped a balloon into a canister of liquid nitrogen, held it up, tapped it with a ruler, and burst it into a million pieces.

Kisha was in awe. Before this day, she had always thought science and technology was for boys, not for her. Now she realised it could be for her after all and decided to study engineering for her undergraduate degree. Now she’s stepping into the shoes of the lady in the lab coat, aiming to provide the same kind of inspiration to kids, helping them to see that STEM is for them.

Could the crowd at Sheffield SOUP help her?

The pitches were done, the votes were cast and after a nail-biting wait, the winner of the 11th Sheffield SOUP was announced… Kisha Bradley from Bright Toys!

Kisha has been working on Bright Toys since she was approved for the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneurship Scheme. Originally from Indiana in the US, Kisha studied Engineering at undergraduate level before coming to the UK to do her Masters in the Management School. She has attended Startup Weekend Sheffield, which is how she first engaged with USE. Since then she has volunteered and been on the organising team for Startup Weekend. She’s enrolled on the Evolve Startup Support Programme and is a regular user of the coworking space. She has also had a small amount of Evolve Funding to test her concept in the early stages.

The Bright Toys website, FB page and Twitter (@MyBrightToys) are all up and running so give her a shout out and congratulations and follow her progress as she engages more and more children in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.

You can also follow Kisha on Twitter at @kisha_bradley

Also pitched last night were: Hope English Sheffield, providing city centre classes and support for asylum seekers who are getting zero help; Good Gym Sheff, doing good and getting fit in 3 ways. Running to social enterprises and helping out with manual labour, running to visit elderly isolated people, and running to help out on “missions”, helping isolated people get stuff done; and Open Kitchen, helping people from around the world to share their cookery skills and have somewhere to be and make friends.

Sheffield SOUP socially crowdfunds social projects in Sheffield. There’s a £5 minimum donation to attend, which buys you soup, entertainment and a vote. Four projects are pitched and the winning pitch takes the door money.
To find out about upcoming Sheffield SOUP events, follow them on Facebook.

The Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneurship Scheme allows non-EEA international students the opportunity to set up your own business in the UK after finishing your studies. The University of Sheffield is a sponsor of the scheme and supports international students through this process with our International Entrepreneurs Programme and our International Graduate Scheme.

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  • About the author

    Samantha Deakin

    1:1 coach and mentor for tech and high growth potential companies in the early stages, supporting them from concept through prototype, through to investment and beyond.