This post is sponsored by High School Esports League. All opinions are my own.
Are you wondering how to start an esports program at your school? Last year I connected with the team at High School Esports League, and I can’t wait to share their special new campaign. Starting an esports program might feel intimidating, but it may be easier than you think with the right support and resources. You can now apply for a free esports computer lab (six computers) for your school!
There are thousands of schools across the country that are engaging students in esports activities — High School Esports League has 3,400 schools and 110,000 students participating. Esports programs have piqued my curiosity for several years now. From conversations with passionate educators to seeing esports events in action, it’s nothing short of exciting to see the energy around esports.
Why to Start an Esports Program
There are lots of reasons why esports programs are gaining steam across the country. One reason that may be at the top of your list is student engagement and community building. The team at High School Esports League shared with me how 80% of students who participate in their program had never participated in an extracurricular activity prior to joining. An epsorts program can provide an opportunity for students who might not pursue traditional extracurricular activities — and find a community in their school that may not have existed for them before.
Although student engagement and community building are two reasons at the top of my list, there are lots of reasons why you might want to start an esports program at your school. In this interesting article from Rosemary Lokhorst, you can find out more about “The Power of Gaming to Build Resilience” including the connection between gaming and decision making.
You can harness your students’ passion for gaming with an esports program in your school and unlock college and career opportunities at the same time. There are hundreds of colleges with esports programs and millions of dollars allocated for scholarship money. Earlier this year, my alma mater the University of Delaware, opened up an esports area, too!
How to Start an Esports Program
How do you start an esports program? If you’ve thought about creating an esports program, or students in your school have asked about esports, there is a new campaign you’ll want to check out. Starting a new esports program at your school might feel intimidating. But the team at High School Esports League, along with their partners, have a program you can apply for right now.
As you can see in the video below, high schools in the United States can request funding for a computer lab for esports. Here’s how it works: First, head over this special homepage to request the program application. Then, gather resources about your school and passion for esports.
High School Esports League partnered with Army National Guard, Intel, ASUS, and Extreme Networks to build 25 esports labs in 25 schools across the country. Whether your school has lots of experience with esports or is interested in getting started, you are eligible to apply for this special esports program.
An Esports Lab Program
One of the reasons I’m so excited about this campaign is that it can set up a school with resources that go beyond esports — all with the support of the High School Esports League team. If you are awarded the program for the esports lab, the team will help you set up the lab and learn how to use all of the provided equipment and resources. Instead of sending you a few laptops, they’ll make sure you have the help you need to make the most of everything included.
In addition to using an esports lab for a student esports program, your school can use the high-powered tools that come with the campaign for lots of school programs. You might use the lab for a coding club or space for students to create all sorts of projects.
Apply for a Free Esports Computer Lab
Ready to get started? Head over to this page and follow the steps outlined by High School Esports League:
- Get excited! Start thinking about all of the reasons why esports already is (or would be) a great fit for your school community.
- Fill out the request form to get the formal application. You’ll have to be a school official to apply for the program.
- Complete the application sharing your school’s story. Include why esports is something you’re already participating in or excited to start at your school.
The team at High School Esports League values diversity, equality, and inclusion. This campaign connects to their commitment to ensuring esports is accessible to students from as many backgrounds as possible, regardless of whether they can personally afford gaming equipment.
If you’d like a free esports computer lab at your school, there is just one thing to do. Head over to this page to request a program application!