Scholastic Esports Federation
Active Pennsylvania Esports Clubs
Esports and the E
Emerald Foundation (“The E”) has strategically partnered with the Samueli Foundation to bring the NASEF (North America Scholastic Esports Federation) initiative to Pennsylvania “to provide opportunities for ALL students to use esports as a platform to acquire critical communication, collaboration, and problem-solving skills needed to thrive in work and in life.” Learn more about this exciting, FREE academic after-school club program for high schools and community organizations.
Learn more about what the Emerald Foundation is doing to advance esports in Lancaster County
Interested in Creating a Club?
In collaboration with the Emerald Foundation, our students have been given opportunities that they may otherwise not have. Our students have a place to relax and unwind after school, while participating in activities that teach them teamwork and allow them to hone their communication skills. Because of the Emerald Foundation’s efforts, our students have gained confidence and pride in their abilities. It has been a pleasure to work with the foundation and our students to see their growth and development.
What is Esports?
Also known as electronic sports, esports is a form of competition that is facilitated through computer gaming. Most commonly, esports takes the form of organized, multiplayer online video game competitions. These competitions often incorporate live broadcasts with commentary and award prize money to competitors. Esports is also one of the fastest growing sports in the world.
High School Esports Program Awarded $500,000 Grant From PA Department Of Education. (Lancaster, PA – February 11, 2019)
Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Pedro Rivera announced today that the Emerald Foundation has been awarded nearly $500,000 in a PAsmart Advancing Computer Science & STEM Grant for its “Supporting Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Esports” program.
“Supporting Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Esports” will infuse STEM learning into a passion students currently embrace: video gameplay. The North America Scholastic Esports Federation (NASEF), founded by the Samueli Foundation and managed on the east coast by the Emerald Foundation, was created to provide opportunities for ALL students to use esports as a platform to acquire critical communication, collaboration, and problem-solving skills needed to thrive in work and in life. This new program in Pennsylvania will bridge the gaps between the highest and lowest performing students through highly engaging instruction, ongoing opportunities for team collaboration, creative problem-solving, and competitive fair play.
General Manager Spotlight: Kevin Hufnagl ( April 12, 2019)
- When did you make your NASEF club and what was the level of student interest for it?
We announced the creation of a competitive gaming club in mid January and held an informational meeting three days later. Unsurprisingly, 50 students showed up to the meeting. Students were definitely excited, as there was a noticeable buzz of energy in the room. Currently, we have about 30 active members on the roster.
- What does a typical club meeting look like?
Our club meets in a computer lab with 28 machines outfitted with the current season’s game. Our first order of business is to provide updates about competitions, progress of student committees and upcoming participation opportunities. Once we have concluded essential club business, students may practice games for upcoming tournaments. During this time, students collaborate on strategy and build teamwork. Usually, there are about 20 students participating at any given practice.
- How do you think your NASEF club differs from other video game clubs?
NASEF is unique because it uses gaming to engage students in school. It strives to create an ecosystem where students can participate though a variety of related disciplines. Additionally, NASEF stresses the development of the individual including communication skills, critical thinking, and social-emotional well being such as navigating potentially toxic online environments.
- How have you seen your students grow since participating in the program?
I have noticed a number of positive outcomes in the short time since the club started. First, students are definitely motivated to keep their grades up so they can participate. Also, there are students growing into leadership roles concerning the development competitive strategy and coaching other students.
- What opportunities do you see in the future for your students because of this program?
I see a number of potential opportunities for students moving forward. I am most excited about developing connections with local universities such as Elizabethtown College. Through near-peer mentoring students can gain insight into game strategy, communication and appropriate emotional responses to adversity. NASEF also offers similar support through their virtual coaching program. It’s also great for students to see how competitive gaming has become a legitimate sport and the associated career paths students can pursue in a fast growing industry.
- How do you see your club growing in the future?
Moving forward, there a number of ways for students to branch out and participate beyond competitive gaming. For example, we put together a committee of students to work with a graphic design class to develop concepts for a team logo. Eventually, through a feedback and revision process, we will vote on a final student created graphic logo. Additionally, as students gain experience and a deeper knowledge of the game, students can provide commentary to live streams of tournament matches. Eventually, I plan on handing over more management responsibilities to students as we develop and adopt an official club charter and nominate club officers.