David Reed a.k.a Rocket – Where It All Began

Hi I am David Reed, a.k.a Rocket

Before I get into sharing my story with you, I want you to know that being part of Fizz Pop Science means you have an important role in the future of our planet. Science is part of everything in someway; it’s literally what makes the world go round. Without some of our children becoming scientists, what does the future look like?! But with all that responsibility comes an equal amount of pride, satisfaction, fun and a warm feeling in the pit of your stomach as you see a smile across a child’s face.

So who is behind the Rocket.

I grew up in a loving family with lots of fun and laughter, but times were tough. I was a child of 7, my Mum looked after us full-time and my Dad was a Welder. That was until he got injured and could no longer work. Money was tight and the cause for many a row. We got by and I look back at my childhood with fond memories.

Being the one of the eldest, it was part of my duties to help my younger siblings. Helping them get dressed, do chores or help them do their schoolwork. It was part of my everyday life to be helping or, I suppose, teaching people younger than me.

I was a tinkerer. Always building a circuits, creating a potion or doing some programming of some description or another with computers (special Thanks to my Uncle Micheal Jelley, who always gave me his old computers as he upgraded – Spectrum 16k, then 32k the an Atari ST). I was only too happy to share what I was doing with my friends, showing them how to do it themselves.

Looking back, I now realise I’ve always enjoyed science, but of course back then I didn’t even know it was science I was “playing” with.

From a young age I had set my sights on being a teacher, I think being part of a larger family and having to help my siblings is perhaps why. However, before you jump ahead and think that life had a clear path set out for me…it wasn’t quite like that.

In secondary school, I met with a career advisor who convinced me 100% that being a teacher was not a good idea, especially for a man wanting to work in a primary school (how wrong was she!) Of course fully believing that the career advisor knew best, I set about a new path in Arts.

I didn’t go to university straight from school. University wasn’t something discussed in my family. No one had been before and the cost would have been an issue. So from school I landed myself a type of apprenticeship with Cameron Balloons within the production of artwork. Basically I would learn about putting artwork onto hot air balloons.

Being someone who gives their all to whatever they do, this job was no different. I spent 10 years within the company and during that time I cut 40% off the artwork costs through revolutionizing the techniques and technologies used to produce artwork for hot air balloons.

You might have seen some of my prize designs:

  • The BBC 1 Earth Hot Air Balloon (it was on the TV for a while)
  • Van Gogh – this still is the most advanced hot air balloon artwork

It goes without saying I loved this job, but as with all good things, this too came to an end.

In 2003 I went to university to study Time Based Media but what I realised as I came to the end of the course was that all my major projects had been based around children or their education.

And so my passion to work with children was reignited.

Just before my uni’ course ended I got myself a job that I believed ticked all my boxes, working with children and science. It was great.

I met my wife, Kim and we had our first child, Elsie. Life was good, but then after 6 years I was made redundant.

With some time to reflect what I realised was that despite having 2 jobs I totally loved and was passionate about, I had absolutely no control over my future, my income or the time I spent with my family. What I knew was that I wanted to work with children and something science related.

A few good talks with Kim, friends and family I decided that setting up my own business was the only way I could combine all my passions and have control over my life.

And so in 2011 Fizz Pop Science was set up in Bristol (It’s probably a good time to mention, I am Bristol born and bred. I’ve lived here all my life and for me it’s the perfect place).

When I set up Fizz Pop Science my aim was to bring science to all children, hopefully inspiring just a few of them to go on to be scientists of our future. I wanted to capture the imaginations of the children, making science full and exciting. I didn’t want affordability to become a factor for some children, so I introduced free shows to schools. This was a way for me to reach even more children.

What I found was that schools from all over the UK wanted shows. In the early days I was traveling all over to deliver the shows and workshops to the kids.

Just after a year, I realized I couldn’t keep up with the demand by myself and looked at options that would allow more schools and more children to have the Fizz Pop Science experience. However, maintaining the high quality and energy was equally important.

From past experiences within my other jobs, I knew that maintaining quality through area managers could be difficult. It was about now when something rang in my ears that Id been told many years ago by a manager, that if someone has a vested interest in something they deliver more.

I explored the franchising option and for my priority of maintaining a high quality and having people on board who were equally as passionate I me, it seemed franchising was the right direction.

By franchising, I hoped that the type of people operating the franchise area would have their own personal reasons for maintaining the Fizz Pop Science quality and deliver the same enthusiasm and passion that I did.

Fast forward 7 years to today.

We now have 10 areas across the UK covered and to date myself and the team at Fizz Pop Science have been in front of over 1 million children and are now working with over 600 schools each year across the UK.

We’ve managed to maintain the high quality and all of our franchisees share the same passion as I do which cascades down through their team of instructors and to the children.

For me the test has been done and now I want to take Fizz Pop Science to the next level. With even more franchisees on board covering the whole of the UK, Fizz Pop Science can capture the imaginations of even more children and hopefully be the start of some of their journeys into building our futures.