STEM & STEAM
High Schools Add Esports Teams and Compete Regionally
- By Dian Schaffhauser
Center High School in Iowa has added an esports club,
which is being run by Assistant Technology Coordinator Ben Morley.
According to local
reporting, the club has chosen to join the High
School Esports League, which runs several seasons of
competitions each school year, which last for seven to eight weeks.
Morley said the
biggest challenge so far has been coordinating time zones for
gameplay. The team, which has a dozen students, has played against
schools in Oregon, Pennsylvania and Texas. Twelve is the magic number
because that's how many computers capable of supporting gaming that
the school has -- six borrowed from yearbook design work and another
six built by the club from grant funding.
Right now, the focus
is on Blizzard's Overwatch, which has two teams of six players facing
Another Iowa school,
Catholic High School in Mason, launched its esports
playing as a senior capstone project. Senior Alan Fry kicked off the
program at the behest of Principal Tony Adams. The project included
building six gaming computers from components Fry and a couple of
teammates specified and the school purchased. Local
reporting also noted that the team had to "rearrange"
the school's tech room to accommodate practice sessions.
Now the eight team
members play League of Legends, Rainbow Six Siege and Rocket League,
led by Coach and Technology Director, Lindsay Neuhring. The
competitions are streamed on Twitch.TV
and overseen by the Iowa
High School Esports Association.
Xavier High School in Louisville, KY is adding an
esports program to its sports rundown. Sanctioned by the Kentucky
High School Athletic Association beginning in the
2020-2021 school year, the school has joined 40 others around the
state that are already competing. The team will be coached by Dan
Able, a science and robotics teacher and moderator of the
Computer/Console Gamers Club, and Tyler Spears, a math and statistics
teacher and competitive gamer.
competitively is similar to a lot of other sports and competitions in
the sense that it takes a considerable amount of time, practice and
skill to do well," said Spears in a statement. "I look
forward to sharing some of my past experiences in gaming and to
spending the time necessary to make sure our students are some of the
best in the state of Kentucky.
five high schools from the New York City boroughs met this weekend to
duke it out in a Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Tournament with a Latin
beat. Hosted by HITN-TV,
a Spanish-language media company that offers educational and cultural
programming and MediaPro
Group's UBEAT, a multiplatform esports and gaming
distributor of Liga de Videojuegos Profesional competitions, the
event offered participants the chance to vie for a $2,000 grand
prize, among other prizes, including gift cards and t-shirts.
The competition was
globally. The winning school in New York will face the
winner of another tournament taking place in Chicago this month. The
final tournament between New York City and Chicago will be held in
"In the last
decade we’ve seen esports grow from streamed underground events to
worldwide, televised programs," said Michael Nieves, HITN's
president and CEO. "However, we also noticed not enough Hispanic
gamers and young women who enjoy video games are participating in
this growing sport. That’s why HITN and UBEAT made sure to include
young Hispanics and young women with this tournament."
pulling pulled together top high school esports players for an
esports competition that normally draws collegiate teams. For the
first time, players from the state's Interscholastic
Esports Association will play in a series of matches
for League of Legends and Overwatch. The contests begin on Mar. 10
and run through Mar. 28, when a grand finals challenge will take
place in Harrisburg.
A teacher in a Texas
district has begun developing a course called "Esports Careers
and Technology," which will be used in two high schools in the
fall. According to the Houston
Independent School District's Samuel Huston is basing
the course on an existing one, to offer students the option of taking
a career and technical education class that ties to their
Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.