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How Texas educators are using video games to prepare students for the real world

Burleson ISD is preparing students for a future in esports.

ARLINGTON, Texas — Educators at Burleson ISD are getting ahead of the game, preparing students for jobs in one of the fastest-growing industries in the world -- video games.

Global esports revenue topped the $1 billion mark in 2019, according to Forbes.

“The growth has just been phenomenal,” said Dr. Leslie Bender Jutzi, chief academic innovation officer for Burleson ISD. “In 2022, they’re expecting $1.8 billion." 

The district developed an esports academy, where students learn science, math, and language standards through the lens of video games, according to Shawn Minor, of the Burleson ISD board of trustees.

“We hope to give them certifications inside of that curriculum that makes them employable from day one,” Minor said. “Whether that’s in animation, whether that’s in cyber security. Whatever they need, we’re going to give them those certifications leaving high school so that there’s companies that want to hire them right off the bat.” 

Students from the academy faced off against gamers from all over North Texas at Saturday’s tournament at Esports Stadium Arlington.

“It’s basically the school district pulling together and giving the kids a platform to do what they are already doing at home, and doing it on a larger competition level,” said Heather Schebe, who watched her son compete.

Competitions included Super Smash Bros., Fortnite and Minecraft.

“It’s cool that they have that for us and it’s fun,” said Jacob Perez, Burleson student.

Click here to learn more about Burleson ISD’s gaming and esports program.

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