eSports is Coming to MAHS!

What happens when academics, arts, and athletics merge together to form something new? eSports is created. eSports is short for electronic sports but is so much more than the popular video gaming activities enjoyed by many young kids, teens, and adults. eSports takes video games to another level thanks to its organized competitive gameplay between two teams. The teams are governed by strict rules and guidelines and required to use teamwork, communication, critical and strategic thinking, creativity, sportsmanship, and leadership. 

While the eSports design includes art, learning, and competition, the academics and arts components are also found embedded in the coursework. Mount Airy High School (MAHS) will be offering eSports Management I and II in the 2023-2024 school year. In these classes, students will be introduced to eSports Management where game design and management are the focus. Throughout the courses students will also learn about entrepreneurship, coding and programming, and marketing. Students will learn that eSports is about much more than “gaming” and offers compelling career opportunities. You do not have to be interested in eSports as a player to gain the skillset and credentials that will allow you to excel in communication, sales, team leadership, and event administration. 

The competitive team will have tryouts similar to athletic teams. Students who compete do not have to take the courses, but may choose to do so. Students may also take the courses but choose not to be a member of the eSports team. 

The instructor for the eSports courses at MAHS is already on staff and working with students in Project Lead the Way and Drone courses. Noah Cox is a 2022 graduate of Appalachian State University. There he earned his undergraduate degree in Technology Education. Beginning in the fall of 2023, Cox will implement the new eSports courses, lead eSports teams, and teach entrepreneurship courses on campus. Students and families interested in learning more about this new offering at MAHS are encouraged to reach out to Noah Cox to learn more. You can email him directly at [email protected] Students not currently enrolled in MAHS are welcome to reach out to the instructor and schedule a tour of the school. 

Noah Cox, instructor and coach noted, “Video game design and eSports are growing areas of STEM that I have been interested in for a long while now. I believe that the eSports Management courses will be able to give students an opportunity to hopefully find a college and career path more suited to their interests and abilities. Gaming is the fun-factor that usually gets kids interested in the program, but the more advanced technological and computer science skills that these students will learn along the way will be what sticks with them for the rest of their educational career."

Dr. Olivia Sikes, Director of Career and Technical Education shared, “The new eSports program is an innovative extension to our existing CTE programs and STEM framework. Students begin their design and coding learning journey in middle school in technology courses and continue into high school through the PLTW Engineering as well as the Adobe Design pathways. eSports is an extension pathway that ties design and coding together with a business and marketing twist. We are excited about the future of this program and the learning opportunities it will provide for our students.”

- - - - -

Mount Airy City Schools is a member of The Innovation Project (TIP). TIP is a nonprofit collaborative working group of North Carolina public school district leaders created to envision the future of education and design equitable, learner-centered strategies to get there. SparkNC is a transformative new initiative, through TIP, that will accelerate learner progress along pathways to careers in high-tech fields like artificial intelligence and machine learning, software development, computer systems engineering, and cybersecurity.