Company Using Competitive Video Gaming To Build Stem Skills
A company has implemented an innovative way to implement STEM education by using video games.
There is a nationwide push to integrate more STEM education in every walk of public education. The reason for that push is simple: millions of STEM, or science, technology, engineering, and mathematics field jobs are forecasted to go unfilled in the near future. There are plenty of initiatives across the nation addressing the issue and attempting to get more students involved with the subject. But one company located in New Hampshire might just have the best idea to entice younger generations into the field through video games.
Uptime Esports started as a computer club for video games with locations in Hanover Massachusetts, Exeter New Hampshire, and Bedford New Hampshire. Unlike similar companies that offer places for people to come and play competitive gaming, Uptime Esports has kicked it up a notch through programs that educate STEM subjects through the lens of video games, particularly esports, otherwise known as competitive gaming. It’s a concept co-founder Tim Schneider believes is working, as he says that Esports is the fasting growing sport in the world.
Schneider told The Carriage Towne News that kids that often step into their businesses locations are “engineering and STEM-focused students” and because of this, Uptime Esports has seized the opportunity to further their education on the matter through video games. The New Hampshire-based business offers programs focused on competitive gaming that teach coding, engineering, game design, and computer building. They even offer sensory-friendly gaming options for students that need them. Uptime Esports even has the credentials to back up their programs, as they were designed by STEM and NAECAD-certified professional coaches in a joint effort with the New England Institute of Technology along with Shenandoah University.
To recognize the video game business efforts in STEM education, the New Hampshire State Board of Education recently approved Uptime Esports into their Learn Everywhere program. The unique program allows students to earn high school credit for taking part in programs outside the classroom from the approved list of programs deemed educational. The video game program joined the list making it the 15th approved program within the initiative.
The initiative is being well received throughout the state as it serves as a great opportunity to take something students are passionate about, like video games, and turn it into something resourceful that could likely lead down the path to a STEM career in their future. Data suggest that the need to create more interest in the field is crucial. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, STEM jobs are projected to grow 8 percent by 2029. That’s a higher rate than all non-STEM jobs projected growth. Furthermore, the situation is bleak, as studies suggest girls and minorities are severely underrepresented in the field. Many reports suggest that the gap exists because those groups aren’t given the same resources and access to STEM education.
Uptime Esport’s initiative to foster STEM appeal through video games is a great endeavor that other companies across the nation could learn from. But there are also other programs looking to increase STEM awareness and education. The White House released a statement earlier this year laying out plans to bolster STEM efforts in education. Likewise, Harvard University rolled out LabXChange, a free online community for STEM education. But with more people than ever before regularly turning to video games, Uptime Esports might have stumbled on something perfect for children.