Zero to One Million

Keith Schacht
Mystery Science
Published in
2 min readJun 29, 2017


Short version:
We made a thing called Mystery Science. It’s starting to get big!

Longer version:
If you haven’t heard, over a million children experienced Mystery Science in the classroom last year. Every month, teachers in more than 10% of elementary schools in the U.S. use the program.

I remember four years ago flying down to the L.A. area to watch Doug in the classroom. He’d recently been voted one of the top teachers in southern California, and his science classes were consistently voted the students’ favorite class at school. He was doing something different and I wanted to see this for myself.

Over dinner that evening I said to Doug, “You’re helping these children learn how to solve problems for themselves — how to figure things out. This is a skill they now have for life. But every year, you’re reaching… what? A hundred kids? Every child in the country should be learning science this way. We have to bring this to millions of children.”

And so Mystery Science was born. It was 2014.

“ Mystery Science is the best thing to come along in my 24 years of teaching. Whoever designed these lessons has made it so appealing to both teacher and student. I get just as excited as the kids every time I do a lesson.

— Kathy Thibodeau, 5th grade teacher

Today marks the end of the 2016–17 school year and every day we are blown away by the outpouring of gratitude and excitement we receive from teachers and students. Nearly half a million children get their science lessons from Mystery Science each month. Business is strong, more than 4% of elementary schools are paying customers without us having a single sales person on our staff.

But this isn’t fast enough for us. The only thing holding back human progress is the number of people capable of solving problems. Fixing STEM education is the #1 way to create more problem solvers in the next generation.

The Mystery Science team has grown to 19 people. We’re now looking for experienced leaders in every area of the company as we scale.

To accelerate our growth, we’ve joined Y Combinator and are announcing that we’ve raised $2M in funding. As for where this is going to take us? Stay tuned…



Keith Schacht
Mystery Science

👋 Hello. I’m Co-founder & CEO of The Explanation Company ( More about my background on (The profile pic is public CC0)