MILWAUKEE (July 7, 2022) – Starting this week and running through July 26, an information technology and esports class will be offered within Milwaukee Public Schools for the first time ever. The world of competitive video gaming is a fast-growing, international phenomenon with millions of fans and a billion-dollar industry behind it. Since 2018, when the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) first recognized esports as an official sport, more than 8,600 high schools have added it – by comparison, about 14,000 high schools offer football, meaning esports is halfway there. The inaugural class, INTRO TO IT & ESPORTS, has reached capacity.
This new summer school course will help Milwaukee students in 10th and 11th grade develop a broader understanding of the esports industry and learn foundational skills that could be applied across a range of tech-related jobs within the esports industry and beyond. Specifically, students will learn IT concepts and terminology, infrastructure, software development, security, and technology support skills.
The MPS Foundation, a separate 501c3 that funds various initiatives and programs that support MPS families, is the sole funder. “As strong STEM education supporters, we are proud to help make this class possible,” said Wendell Willis, MPS Foundation Executive Director. “We view this as just the beginning for esports education within MPS. Esports and online gaming is a rapidly growing industry, and our students deserve the opportunity to explore possible careers within it.”
The course was designed by New Horizons, which also supplies the needed instructors. In addition, local gaming organization MKE Esports Alliance has provided oversight for the esports components and made introductions to industry experts for presentations.
MPS currently offers afterschool esports within various Milwaukee Recreation programs, and esports clubs exist at multiple MPS high schools including, Ronald Reagan and Rufus King. However, this will be the first time esports is taught within a class setting.