ESportsU is designed to increase motivation and preparedness to pursue science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) careers and develop enhanced instructional and curricular innovations for underrepresented students.
The ESportsU project is funded by The National Science Foundation’s Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers award. The project investigates the potential of culturally responsive computing through an Esports (competitive digital gaming) living-learning community to advance STEM career readiness. The project will leverage activities within the industry to accomplish four goals:
- Enhancing attitudes, awareness, motivation and participation through culturally responsive computing.
- Developing learning pathways that provide Esports industry STEM competencies.
- Creating a learning model that promotes collaborative knowledge sharing behaviors.
- Providing high quality learning opportunities by establishing STEM enrichment experiences for underrepresented youth.
The project will take place on the East Stroudsburg University campus, providing a safe space for peer supported collaborative interaction towards self-ownership of STEM skills for this emerging workforce. The project partners with a local agency that provides diversion from more restrictive environments for youth that have experienced foster care, juvenile probation or delinquent, out of home placement, and out of community placement. Culturally responsive methodology encourages participants to be researcher participants as they self-reflect and actively engage in their learning pathways.
The project will engage participants in two 6-day living-learning, residential camp communities designed to leverage the cultural and advanced technical capacity of the gaming industry to provide powerful learning experiences for participants. The youth will participate alongside learning scientists, digital media technologies faculty, computer scientists, support staff, and Esports industry professionals. Campers will replicate industry activities, modify in-game features, create graphics and website content, produce video content and leverage digital media marketing data analytics.