Pennsylvania High School Esports Boosts Learning Opportunities and National Profile By Becoming a NASEF Affiliate

May, 27, 2020

DOWNINGTOWN, PA — Pennsylvania students are about to take the next step in significant learning through their favorite pastime, as the Pennsylvania Scholastic Esports League (PSEL) becomes a formal Affiliate of the wide-reaching North America Scholastic Esports Federation (NASEF), effective immediately.

NASEF’s Scholastic Esports model (team-based competitive video gaming) is quickly becoming a favored platform for meaningful career and STEM education because it captures student attention while providing a myriad of opportunities for skills exploration and personal development in a team-based environment. The new PSEL Affiliate is centered in the Chester County Intermediate Unit (CCIU) in the Pennsylvania educational system, enabling robust implementation of classroom and afterschool curriculum throughout schools statewide.

“We are honored to become a NASEF affiliate,” said Dr. George F. Fiore, executive director of the CCIU. “Through this partnership we look forward to expanding Pennsylvania students’ access to quality, engaging programs focused on building workforce skills that not only prepare them for their future careers but also create a positive impact on our local economic development. Now more than ever, these learning experiences need to extend into virtual space, which esports activities, tournaments and educational challenges not only provide but actively promote.”

Students engaged in NASEF scholastic esports programs learn about careers within the esports ecosystem. This high-growth industry is projected to reach $1 billion in 2020 and is expanding quickly. In addition, many skills developed in the esports world also lead to sought-after careers in other environments. Students develop proficiency through their involvement in esports-centric classes, by managing multiple aspects of afterschool clubs and events, and by participating in “Beyond the Game” challenges for scholarships and mentorship opportunities.

Director of STEM and Educational Technology Services at CCIU, Dr. Demetrius Roberts, said, “I am excited to bring students together all across our region and beyond in order to connect and learn from each other. Esports, specifically esports programs featuring educational experiences and strategies, have exceptional capacity to foster the power inherent in national and global collaboration among young people.”

“We’re so appreciative of the catalytic support of the local Emerald Foundation in Pennsylvania,” said Gerald Solomon, founder of NASEF and executive director of the Samueli Foundation. “This new affiliate represents the achievement of our objective to have scholastic esports embedded into the local educational systems. We’re excited to partner with the CCIU and its leadership to connect learning and play through school initiatives.”

The Pennsylvania STEM Experiences for Equity and Diversity (PA SEED) Ecosystem is a key partner in the new PSEL. A strong team at the CCIU will manage PSEL: Dr. Demetrius Roberts, Administrator; Kristina Young, Project Management; Diane Thomson, Student Events; and Molly Schwemler, Communications. PSEL and its member schools will now have free access to a wide range of esports-based education resources ranging from classroom curriculum to afterschool club programs and esports tournaments. Local plans include hosting regional tournaments, building a network of educators, teacher/coach training, and planning a statewide Esports Summit.

Learn more at the NASEF website or the CCIU site. Schools across Pennsylvania are invited to join PSEL and NASEF and tap into their events and resources; contact Dr. Demetrius Roberts,