Esports can have a positive impact in academics, especially in STEM and STEAM.
What are Esports?
Esports, short for electronic sports, is the fast growing field of competitive video gaming. Players compete individually or on teams in popular video games.
How Big is Esports?
Esports has exploded in popularity. Studies show that more than 90% of kids play video games in one form or another. It is estimated that 1 on 4 people have watched an esports event with more than 46 million US viewers projected by 2023. Let’s look further at Esports in business, K12 schools, universities and STEM education.
According to Forbes: Esports has exploded in popularity over the last several years. A report from Newzoo predicts that casual audiences will grow to 307 million viewers by 2021, while Deloitte found that industry investment grew 837% between 2017 and 2018. Generation Z is the gaming generation, with 91% of children between ages 2 and 17 enjoying video games in some form.
In Schools & Universities
Esports is proving to be a game changer for students, schools, and the broader global community. More schools from K12 through collegiate institutions are getting involved in the fastest growing spectator sports and multibillion dollar industry.
One exciting opportunity for students is with university Esports. A growing number of universities offer esports as a varsity program on par with traditional college sports. This includes scholarships to play. Reports in early 2020 show 186 collegiate esports programs with $16 million in college scholarships.
In STEM Education
Esports also has a positive impact in academics, especially in STEM and STEAM. Esports is leading to new career and technical education pathways. An esports program can support STEM learning by encouraging:
- Teamwork & problem solving
- Scientific methodology
- Using data & evidence
- Technical proficiency.
Benefits of Esports to Students
The benefits of esports for K12 students are wide ranging.
Let’s highlight a few:
- Students develop better social & behavioral skills
- Students gain awareness and increased interest in gaming and technology career opportunities
- Students develop sportsmanship including how to win, how to lose, how to work in teams
- Improved school performance. Students involved in extracurricular activities such as clubs or sports perform better in the classroom. According to an article from the Chicago Tribune, activities provide students “with a sense of belonging” and make them feel “that they’re a part of something”, and involvement has been associated with “higher math and English grades, improved grades and homework completion, better performance on math, reading and science tests, and an increased likelihood of applying to college.”
GreenApple Campus plans summer and school year esports opportunities.