Laura Williams, 21C Learning Specialist
“Find a need, fill a need.” This is the mantra of Mr. Micah Peck, Band Director, from Wapello CSD Jr/Sr High. In this case, helping students to connect with school, other students, and potentially learning skills that may land students in high demand career fields such as programming or IT through an innovative new program – Wapello Technological Innovation and ESports (TIES) Program.
After having great success with an Esports tournament, where the local partnering telephone company (Mediapolis Telephone) provided the ethernet connection enabling more than 50 students to compete, it was clear this is highly relevant and engaging to students. Not only that, it’s a game-changer for students who may struggle socializing as they now have an outlet to develop relationships and mentors through this program. Wapello TIES is being offered as an after school club, but Mr. Peck envisions their new space within the school igniting other innovative learning opportunities to students beyond the program. Currently, the program is off to a great start, raising enough funds to purchase the materials needed to build three PC gaming computers. While Esports may seem to be just a fun activity, students are learning a lot of skills that will add value beyond school including going through the process of research and design to figure out what they would need to build these computers as well as the technical skills to actually build them.
Mr. Peck emphasized the value of networking with other schools such as Fairfield and WACO, which have been successfully running an Esports program in their districts, to help in the planning of Wapello’s program. For these reasons and so many more, thank you Mr. Peck for being our Future Ready Spotlight this month.