E-Sports Education Situation in Middle School and High schools Across the CountryBy David Thompson
Since the recognition of esports as an official sport by the national federation of high school associations in 2018, more than 8,600 high schools have enrolled in esports competitions. The main motivating factors have been identified to be the prime interest of teens in video games, possibilities of career advancement, and growth in esports scholarships. As more schools adopt esports in their curriculum, the more they solidify the student's CTE and STEM skills.
How Esports Relates to Other Sports
When asked about his view on esports, Rick Simard, a sports director at Mount Saint Charles Academy says, "watching the interaction between the players, I can 110 percent confirm that esports is like any physical game because coordination and communication are the key ingredients to success in this sport."
Like a football or swimming competition, esports starts with tryouts and then the appointment of a captain.
Players and Concorde education coaches work together to develop a team-based strategy that gives them an edge over their opponents. Their dynamics also need to be fluid to adapt to the changing defensive and attacking patterns of the competitors, just as in any other physical sport like soccer.
Educational Impact of Esports
Students who engage in extracurricular activities are less likely to drop out of school compared to those who don't. According to the study conducted on 428 Missouri district schools, over a year, athlete students miss an average of 6 days less than a non-competitor and have higher chances of proceeding with education up to graduation. Also, teens who engage in extracurricular activities have higher chances of scoring a GPA of 3.0 and above compared to their counterparts.
Extracurricular activities lead not only to academic improvement but also other factors such as self-esteem, overall well-being, behaviors, and aspiration, which greatly influence a student's academic life.
The Future of Esports
Based on the current variables, some sports experts predict esports to overtake the NFL in terms of streaming and viewership. But until then, the stumbling block seems to be the lack of awareness and lack of faith in how esports will reinforce the desired skills in teens to help them overcome tomorrow's challenges.
However, as more and more emphasis goes into CTE and STEM-related curricula, sports will be adopted and appreciated as an outlet for teens to develop teamwork skills from the convenience of their rooms.
As esports continues to be popular among high schools, tertiary institutions are likely to take note and eventually have no choice other than to adopt it. Those who proclaim its irrelevance in the advancement of education and don't embrace it are likely to miss out on one of the most sought-after skills in the 21st century.
* This is a contributed article and this content does not necessarily represent the views of universityherald.com