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MEL Science: 25+ Things To Know About Their STEM Kits

Having access to a fully stocked science lab is every STEM-loving child’s dream. While recreating Dexter’s Laboratory in your basement probably isn’t in the cards, signing up for a MEL Science course is a close second!

MEL Science is a leading subscription box service focused on providing authentic science experiments and projects to kids and teens of all ages. 

MEL Science is one of our favorite companies here at STEM Geek. But there are still a few things you should know before purchasing a subscription for your own family:

Who Started MEL Science?

MEL Science was founded by Vassili Philippov. Philippov has four children himself, along with a rich scientific background. According to Business Insider, he even won bronze at the 1994 International Physics Olympiad and has helped start at least one other tech-related company in the past.

What Does MEL Science Stand For?

The “MEL” of MEL Science stands for “More Efficient Learning.” The acronym is inspired by the brand’s commitment to improving access to high-quality science-based learning for children and teens everywhere.

Where Is MEL Science Based?

MEL Science is headquartered in London, England.

When Was MEL Science Founded?

MEL Science was started in 2015.

What Age Range Is MEL Science For?

MEL Science offers STEM subscription boxes for everyone ages 5 and up! Each course is designed for a different recommended age range — clearly labeled when you sign up. But there’s plenty of wiggle room for children slightly outside of these ranges to experiment as well (adult supervision is definitely recommended for children below the suggested age ranges).

What Subjects Does MEL Science Cover?

Each MEL Science subscription box (or “course”) focuses on a different scientific discipline:

The MEL STEM course offers an introduction to scientific exploration and experimentation for children ages 5 to 9+. It was formerly known as MEL Kids.

The MEL Physics course gets into more detailed concepts like magnetic fields and vacuum chambers. It’s targeted toward children ages 8 to 14+.

The MEL Chemistry course brings a child-safe laboratory into your home with step-by-step experiments. MEL Science recommends this course for anyone ages 10 to 16+.

Tin hedgehog experiment kit from MEL Chemistry
Tin hedgehog experiment kit from MEL Chemistry (photo by Miranda Altice)

Last but certainly not least, the MEL Med course dives into a variety of subjects within the medical field. This course was the first (and may still be the only) medicine-themed STEM subscription boxes. It’s geared toward teens and adults ages 14 and up.

What Is Included In A MEL Science Subscription?

The main attraction of an MEL Science subscription is the physical box shipped directly to your doorstep. But subscribers also receive a number of digital goods, including access to:

  • Virtual and augmented reality-based lessons
  • Live educational webinars hosted by real scientists
  • The MEL Science phone app

Subscribers to the MEL Chemistry course will also receive a Starter Kit.

How Often Does MEL Science Send Boxes?

MEL Science courses are released on a monthly schedule.

What Is The MEL Chemistry Lite Subscription?

The MEL Chemistry Lite subscription was a simplified version of the Chemistry course with fewer experiments in each box. It also did not include a free Starter Kit, so additional materials were sometimes needed to complete the activities inside.

However, it seems that MEL Science recently phased out this course in favor of the full-size Chemistry course.

What Is Included In The MEL Science Starter Kit?

New subscribers to the MEL Chemistry course receive a free Starter Kit as their first shipment. This box includes everything needed to create a safe, authentic laboratory in the comfort of your home.

Each Starter Kit includes a:

  • Borosilicate beaker
  • Borosilicate flask
  • Macro lens
  • Solid fuel burner
  • Safety glasses
  • Tray
  • Smartphone/tablet stand
  • Virtual reality headset

All of these items will be used to complete experiments featured in future Chemistry course boxes. So be sure to store the contents of the Starter Kit somewhere safe and secure.

Are MEL Science Experiments Safe?

MEL Science is incredibly careful about only providing experiments that are safe for children. 

All materials included in the courses are cross-referenced against US and European standards for children’s science kits.

The experiments themselves are also tested by real kids to identify potential safety risks before they ever reach subscribers.

Of course, it’s still important to follow all safety precautions, including wearing the proper gear, and teach children how to properly handle chemicals and other lab materials.

How Many Times Can MEL Science Experiments Be Completed?

The majority of MEL Science kits include enough reagents to complete the enclosed experiments two or more times. 

Do MEL Science Kits Include All Of The Required Materials?

MEL Chemistry tin experiment unboxed
MEL Chemistry tin experiment unboxed (photo by Miranda Altice)

Most MEL Science kits include everything you’ll need to complete each month’s projects. There are some experiments that call for common household items (e.g., hydrogen peroxide, water, etc.). 

So while you’ll rarely need to run to the store to complete a given experiment, it’s also not true that the kits include EVERYTHING you could possibly need.

Do MEL Science Kits Expire?

It’s very unlikely that your MEL Science kit will expire before you get a chance to use it. If, however, you find an unopened box in the back of a dusty cupboard or closet, we recommend contacting MEL Science to ensure that everything inside is still safe to use.

The most likely outcome of using an “expired” science kit is that the experiment just won’t work. But it’s always best to be cautious when dealing with active chemicals!

How Do You Use The MEL Science VR Headset?

The MEL Science VR headset works in conjunction with the brand’s smartphone app. You can use the headset to access a variety of VR and AR science lessons and virtual experiments.

In a past review of the MEL Chemistry kit, we also discovered that the VR headset is compatible with Google Cardboard software!

Virtual reality headset inspired by Google cardboard included in MEL Chemistry set
Virtual reality headset inspired by Google cardboard included in MEL Chemistry set (photo by Miranda Altice)

Where Does MEL Science Ship From?

Depending on your location, MEL Science kits may ship from a warehouse in the US, the UK, or the EU.

Where Does MEL Science Ship To?

MEL Science ships the STEM, Physics, and Chemistry courses practically worldwide.

Note that the MEL Med course is currently only available within the United States.

How Much Does MEL Science Charge For Shipping?

Subscriptions within the US receive free shipping with each box. Shipping prices for shipments throughout Europe and the rest of the world vary.

When Will My MEL Science Shipment Arrive?

With the exception of your first shipment (which ships out shortly after purchase), all MEL Science kits ship out during the 3rd week of the month.

Shipments to the US and UK typically arrive within 7 to 14 days. International orders typically arrive within 2 to 3 weeks but may take up to a month in some cases.

How Much Is A MEL Science Subscription?

Most course subscriptions start at $20.90 per month. The MEL Med course starts at $69.90 per month.

Are MEL Science Kits Sold In Stores?

MEL Science kits are not sold in retail stores. You can, however, sign up for a subscription through Amazon if desired.

Can You Purchase Individual MEL Science Kits?

MEL Science kits are currently only available via subscription. To purchase a single kit, you would need to sign up for and then immediately cancel your subscription.

What Is Similar To MEL Science?

MEL Science is just one of countless great STEM subscription boxes available for parents and loved ones to choose from. With that said, MEL Science is definitely one of our personal favorites!

MEL Science’s leading competitor is KiwiCo. KiwiCo offers a wide variety of subscription boxes. The Kiwi Crate, Tinker Crate, and Eureka Crate are the most comparable to MEL Science courses.

There are many reasons to love the offerings by both of these leaders in STEM boxes. If you’re having trouble choosing one over the other, be sure to check out our in-depth comparison of KiwiCo and MEL Science!

KiwiCo vs MEL Science STEM Subscription boxes

How Do I Contact MEL Science?

You can reach MEL Science customer support via the built-in chat box on the website or by emailing [email protected].

For support over the phone, you can call +1 (855) 971‑2330 in the US or +44 20 3695 1721 in the UK.

How Hard Is It To Cancel A MEL Science Subscription?

It’s very easy to cancel a MEL Science subscription. All you need to do is access your online account and click the option to cancel. 

Keep in mind that prepaid subscription cancellations won’t go into effect until the current term ends.

Can You Change An Existing MEL Science Subscription?

MEL Science allows subscribers to pause or switch their subscription to a different course. You can easily make these changes by logging into your online MEL Science account.

Does MEL Science Accept Bulk Orders?

Schools and other organizations can order MEL Science kits in bulk or access discounted subscription rates. Bulk orders of individual kits start at 100 units.

If you’re interested in purchasing MEL Science kits for a school, homeschooling group, or other organization, you can request a quote here.

Does MEL Science Sell Gift Cards?

MEL Science does not currently offer gift cards.

Can You Buy A MEL Science Subscription As A Gift?

MEL Science makes it super easy to purchase a course subscription as a recurring gift!