Esports + STEM = Student Success

STEMATHON at the Lancaster-Lebanon IU13 Center in Pennsylvania

The Emerald Foundation Esports team recently attended the Lancaster-Lebanon IU13 STEMATHON. STEM involves not just science, technology, engineering, and math, but also the core skills demanded by those fields, including collaboration, communication, teamwork, problem-solving, and perseverance. 

This event served as a way to celebrate STEM education and STEM-related work in Pennsylvania. A variety of organizations, businesses and groups attended this event to help provide community members with more information about the STEM-related work that occurs in the state. Sessions discussed one or more of the following items: STEM Integration, Tech Tools for STEM, Equity in STEM, Meaningful STEM partnerships. The primary audience was Pennsylvania educators. There were 38 breakout sessions and two group-wide sessions. 

The Emerald Foundation Esports team members James Roussel, Program Coordinator, and Brianna Titi, Communications and Public Relations Coordinator, presented NASEF esports clubs in a breakout session. They discussed what esports is, its growing industry, NASEF and its mission statement as well as how esports benefits students and an overview of NASEF esports clubs. This was the second year that the Emerald Foundation presented at STEMATHON. 

The conference served as a great platform to promote the importance of NASEF esports clubs. In one of the breakout sessions, the Special Consultant to the Secretary of Education on STEM, Judd Pittman discussed integration of STEM Ecosystems in Pennsylvania and touched on how esports was a perfect way to utilize STEM in the state.

There are a number of benefits associated with esports that rivals traditional sports. Being involved in esports is associated to higher GPAs, fostering personal growth as well as being associated with a higher number of degrees completed, increasing satisfaction with school, and cultivating persistence. There are also specific benefits that are linked directly to being involved in esports, which include improving problem-solving skills, higher technology fluency, improving digital and print literacy, higher math achievement, improving visual acuity and attention, fostering scientific reasoning, and accelerating language learning.  

Esports is a wonderful way to infuse STEM learning in a high school student's academic experience. Esports allows students to work in science, technology, engineering and mathematics all at the same time, in some video games. Students must have the abilities to quickly problem solve, science and mathematics equations and concepts as well as work with the device on creating designs that align with engineering, while playing on a technology device. These skill sets perfectly align with the concept of STEM, integrating the four areas into one fluid model. Esports is also a great way for the student to get hands-on experience with STEM as opposed to just reading a textbook. This learning-infused platform allows students to enjoy STEM in a fun, safe environment.