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160. Teaching STEAM Skills Through Esports with Gerald Solomon & Kevin Brown

There’s a lot to learn by taking the time to understand things that kids are invested in, even if it doesn’t seem to relate to education. Take esports, for instance: Could this thing that so many adults pass off as a waste of time actually teach our kids valuable life skills?

North American Scholastic Esports Foundation (NASEF) is the world’s first academic approach to esports, providing opportunities for students to learn STEAM skills and prepare themselves for the work of the future. In 2018, Gerald Solomon created and launched NASEF when he recognized the possibility of reaching disenfranchised learners through a pass time that kids love. Kevin Brown was a lifelong gamer himself and wears many hats at the foundation under the title of Chief Academic Officer. We talk about the unlikely bond between gaming and education, how to open up skeptics to these opportunities, and how to scale programs like this across the globe.

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We unbox:

  1. Taking STEAM skills already present in esports and making them visible to kids

  2. How they scaled the NASEF program across states

  3. Pushing back against the negative connotations of video games

  4. Talking to “digital native” kids in a language they understand



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