STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education. Focus on these areas together is increasing in the new age teaching methods, not only because the skills and knowledge in each discipline are essential for student success, but also because these fields are deeply intertwined in the real world.
India based Play Lab is creating hardware projects that can be used by students, and encourage them to build things hands on.
What is Play Lab?
Play Lab offers activities that help develop innovative thinking and give a deep hands-on understanding of technology. Play Lab was founded in September, 2013 by two B.Tech students Udit Sheth and Saumik Trivedi. It was started when Udit was in 2nd year of his engineering while Saumik was in the 3rd year. They started in Gandhinagar with the aim of empowering students to become active users of technology rather than passive consumers. By active users, they mean allowing students to create or build something using technology rather than just using it.
Initially they started by taking robotics and technology workshops for schools and colleges. But they realised that current robotics products available in the market are not suitable for children. They are too expensive, unintuitive and complex to use. So based on the feedback received from over 1500 students who participated in their workshops, they started to design products that were affordable, intuitive and simple to use. The aim of all their current and future products is to enable kids to create or build something using technology.
Products Launched by Play Lab
Currently, they have launched three versions of electronics projects kit for age group of 10 and above. They have online portals on Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal. The product goes by the name “The Real Circuiteer- Level 1”, “The Real Circuiteer- Level 2” and the “The Real CIrcuiteer – Combo Pack”.
Through these products, they are trying to demystify electronics for kids and also provide hands-on learning for concepts covered in school. Simultaneously they are also working on an educational robotics platform that is expected to go on sale from December 2016.
Being a product company, Play Lab generate revenue by selling their products online.Their main target audience is Urban parents, who are looking for STEM/Robotics products for their children.
They have conducted workshops for over 1500 students and have sold more than 600 Real Circuiteer- Combo kit since its launch . Company claims that the revenue generated from workshops and products have been sufficient to fund their company. But to launch new products in the robotics segment and expand quickly they are actively looking for investment
According to Tractica the worldwide market size for educational robotics is expected to be more than $3 billion and is growing at more than 10% every year. In India educational robotics segment is seeing a very high growth but there a lack of supply of good quality STEM and robotics products. Play Lab’s future plans include building affordable, intuitive and simple educational robotics platform through which more and more kids can be introduced to exciting world of robotics.
A lot of emphasis is laid on teaching kids programming and electronics. STEM learning is becoming popular day by day. Companies who are working in same domain include Early Engineers and Avishkaarbox. STEM learning enables kids to become active users of technology and also enhances technical aptitude and logical reasoning capability. Including such teaching methods in Indian schools will enhance technological inclination at an early stage.