STEM & STEAM Education
Compton District Combines Esports and STEAM
- By Dian Schaffhauser
A California school district is launching a joint STEAM career program with an esports tournament. The Compton Unified School District esports program is intended to help students develop STEAM skills, especially in computer programming, and develop their abilities in collaboration, digital literacy, critical thinking and problem-solving.
The program is being co-sponsored by the Carrot Group, a company that sets up STEAM programs for education, and professional football team the Los Angeles Chargers. The Chargers have donated $20,000 to supply team gear and transportation for teams to practice and attend tournaments and career days. Several players will also serve as honorary team captains at the tournaments, including wide receiver Geremy Davis, defensive tackle Justin Jones, defensive end Isaac Rochell and quarterback Tyrod Taylor.
The district will bring its four high schools together for the tournament, which will begin play on Oct. 14. Each student team will have six players and one alternate. Once a week for six weeks after school, they'll play a 60-minute Overwatch match online. Participants will also attend a two-hour orientation and career pathway session that will cover jobs in the video game industry and access to a free online, college-level course in game design.
The tournament, provided at no cost to students, will finish in a play-off round with the best team from each school competing until two winners face off in a live two-hour championship event in December. Prizes will include tickets for the winning team to attend a Chargers home game, a gaming accessories package, a VIP trip to meet with leading video game production designers, a district esports championship ring and a scholarship to attend a game design bootcamp.
Registration is free and open until Oct. 4. More information about the tournament can be found at: compton.k12.ca.us/esports.
Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @schaffhauser.