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Roncalli High School pairs video games with CTE education

Published: Dec. 4, 2020 at 6:50 PM CST
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ABERDEEN, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Since 2017, the Aberdeen Roncalli Junior High and High School has put an emphasis on STEM oriented instruction for students, and opening up labs that students could work hands-on with those skills.

Now, it’s joining a growing list of colleges and high schools in the region fielding an Esports team, something STREAMLab Facilitator Jennifer Goscicki says has been beneficial for students.

“I have found that the kids have developed such awesome, effective communication skills.” Jennifer Goscicki says.

While she was unsure of the idea at first, she says she’s seen the students in the group organize and problem-solve as a team, taking those skills and applying them out in other areas of life as well.

“They have to work as a team together, and make decisions quickly. And then they have to analyze those decisions and live with the consequences, and adjust as they continue through the games.”

The team was started by Roncalli seniors Zachery Behrends, William Goscicki, and John Reynen as part of their graduation requirements. Looking to pair their interest in video games and their STEM education together, the three presented their idea to the school faculty and administration as something that could be beneficial for others as well.

“It’s a student driven deal, where the teachers weren’t really advocating for it but we were. And I think that’s really cool.” Behrends says.

Although the team is still in it’s first year together, William Goscicki says he’s already seen the students that have joined come together and bond, something he hopes will help break the stereotypes surrounding Esports.

“We still practice as a team, and whenever we do our individual events we always tell the rest of the team how we did. Just so everybody can, you know, stay in contact.” William Goscicki says.

The school is now applying for a grant to help cover future equipment costs, as well as provide hands-on activities for students to learn the hardware and software aspects behind the activity. Behrends says he hopes the team will continue to grow even more after he’s graduated, and become more than just a small club with a few members.

“And it’s cool to watch all these kids come together. I never even knew half of these kids, so. Getting to know them this year and it’s cool.” Behrends says.

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