PCS Edventures!.com Inc. (OTCBB: PCSV) has developed several product lines targeting a wide variety of markets, ranging from educational institutions to afterschool programs. From its learning center model in the U.S. to its expansion into international markets, the company aims to diversify and enhance its revenues over the coming quarters and years.
Growing Market for Robotics
Demand for robotics has been steadily growing over the years.
BCC Research anticipates that global demand for robots and robot-related products was approximately $21 billion in 2010 and could reach $30 billion by 2016, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.7% between 2011 and 2016.
Educational robotics represents a rapidly growing segment of that market.
Industry analysts anticipate the market for robotic kits to expand from 541,000 units and $27.5 million in sales in 2007 to 35.8 million units and $1.69 billion in sales by 2014, according to WinterGreen Research Inc., as prices fall and schools begin to institutionalize robotics programs.
In Chaos Lies Opportunity
Education in the U.S. is rapidly changing to meet the demands of the 21st century, while living within new budget constraints imposed during the Great Recession.
There are several key secular trends to note in the industry:
Online Classes: By 2015, Ambient Insights expects some 25 million students to take classes online, while the number of students taking online classes exclusively will grow by more than 23% annually.
Home Schooling: Between 1999 and 2007, the number of home-schooled students has increased 75%, with 73% of those surveyed indicating that they were dissatisfied with the American school system, according to a CollegeAtHome meta study.
Effectively transitioning to online classes or home schooling requires some level of physical/experiential components to enhance learning. Blended learning environments like these have proven to be far more effective for students. PCS Edventures anticipates that these secular trends will continue to drive adoption of its products and technologies and provide opportunities for growth well into the future.
U.S. Tries to Improve STEM Education
Government grants and incentives are also driving demand for STEM programs to help improve math and science test scores at both the state and federal levels. For instance, the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Federal Afterschool Initiative has grown from $40 million in 1998 to more than $1.15 billion in 2012 to provide afterschool educational programs.
In addition to the existing funding, some regulators are trying to introduce new legislation to improve STEM education. U.S. Congressman Michael Honda – Silicon Valley’s representative – recently unveiled the STEM Education Innovation Act of 2011 in the U.S. House of Representatives that aims to create a STEM Education Office in the Department of Education.
According to the Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC):
In the United States alone, 13 federal agencies have committed over $3.4 billion to more than 250 different programs in support of STEM education. The United States is not alone in this effort. Many countries are examining and expanding their efforts to meet the growing need for comprehensive, creative and coordinated STEM education. Science education is a key element in the agendas international agencies and organizations. The UNESCO science, education, and communication programs, for example, work together through the Intersectoral Platform on Science Education, which is supporting initiatives in response to the need for more innovative methods for science teaching to encourage interest in science and engineering.
Interest in educational robotics isn’t just limited to the U.S. either. Many countries have active programs that are funding STEM education. For instance, China and India have developed major policy and programmatic efforts aimed at increasing the number of STEM graduates in order to benefit from a STEM-educated workforce well equipped for the 21st century.