Spotlight: The PCS EdventuresLab

Enter the PCS EdventuresLab - Pat's vision in the 21st century.  In 2012, I was appointed to the CEO role for PCS Edventures after 20 years of working on business and product development for the company.  When I took over, I implemented a new business plan for the company that incorporated bringing back the original lab concept which I saw as the core of our educational vision. I was fortunate to be an original PCS instructor with Pat McShane starting back in 1988 and saw the remarkable accomplishments being made by students in that environment.  The vision today is to implement a lab network across the United States through partnerships that will make this remarkable experience available to students all over the US, and eventually, the world.  This network of labs and experiential learners will all be tied together through a digital "glue" that is our digital learning platform now in an R&D phase.

Presently, we have two EdventuresLab facilities operating in Boise and Eagle, Idaho, rebuilding the same remarkable student experience seen originally in 1986.  In addition to the business of the EdventuresLab itself, these in-house private education programs provide PCS Edventures! with a unique environment for conducting rich R&D around advanced, "experiential," STEAM education.  Out of these labs have come our latest iterations of PCS Robotics software and hardware literally designed with the input of hundreds of PCS students.  The labs have also been the source of our explorations into new and highly relevant topics such as 3D prnting, advanced robotics, aerospace engineering, and principles of flight using drones, 3D game development in Unity, and a number of other exciting areas.   It's also been the genesis and inspiration for our new curriculum delivery concept called LABCards, a granular approach to providing rich STEM experiences with minimal educator facilitation.  This summer we used these labs for testing out digital student portfolios and saw hundreds of students creating online portfolios, a big part of what we see as the future of authentic assessment, and a key element in our digital "glue."   Finally, over the past two years we have had visitors from all over the world marvel at these labs as they come see them in action - companies and educators from Taiwan, China, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Oman, India, and more have all visited and left with a vision of education for the 21st century that has inspired and motivated these people to actively promote change in their countries.

In conclusion, check out our EdventuresLab blog to see what is going on in these labs on a weekly basis.  It's a magical environment that provides our company with inspiration, motivation, real-world testing, and innovative ideas on a daily basis.  I dream of the day when this experience is delivered to students in labs around the country, into classrooms, and even into student's backyards as they tap into the digital service that we envision bringing STEAM students from all over the world together.

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