Brooklyn Laboratory Charter School is known for offering Pre-AP classes to prepare scholars for success in more rigorous AP courses in high school and beyond. But, the school also knows the value of non-academic clubs and sports in a child’s educational life. Extracurricular activities create opportunities for young scholars to excel at socialization and to practice those soft skills that are so important to success in the modern world.
E-sports (or electronic sports) are offered at Brooklyn Laboratory Charter School as an extracurricular and state-sanctioned activity. This opportunity is rapidly growing and is offered in all school settings from K to 12 as an educational path for building science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM) knowledge while building social-emotional skills. School administrators report an increasing student engagement and inclusion when e-sports are added to the non-academic curriculum.
Students may participate individually, but e-sports at Brooklyn Laboratory Charter School is set up for team participation with a complete set of organized skill levels, competitions, and even an enthusiastic crowd of spectators – online and in-person!
Schools need to stay current with the interests of their population. And there is no getting around it – online gaming is one of the fastest-growing activities for young people, with some excelling so well that they can make an exceptional living in the global e-sport arena.
But, that differs from the objective for this after-school activity at Brooklyn Laboratory Charter School. Our deans and educational leaders have looked hard at the soft skills development that research has proven to be true. Soft skills in the real world include applying critical thinking, communication, emotional control, and self-awareness in the workplace. From the boardroom to the factory floor, these skills make for an employee that can stay focused on the work at hand, even when co-workers may attempt to make it difficult.
Even before a student is given a career opportunity, they still must pass the interview phase. No matter how good they are with technical skills, a lack of interpersonal communication may mean denying their dream job. Human resource professionals will often screen for soft skills by assessing how comfortable the interviewee appears in front of a panel or based on answers about the person’s interests and hobbies.
E-sports also develops a solid team-based and problem-solving ethic. While we live in a world where technology has replaced many manual labor skills with robotics, automated processes cannot replicate soft skills. And finally, it has been found that e-sports can foster confidence in young people. A greater self-esteem is gained when these students succeed in the challenges offered in e-sports. It makes them more willing to take risks, knowing that there is always another chance to win with you apply to practice and patience.