Primary school children in Angus are taking part in an innovative esports project to stimulate interest in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects.

Teachers are using Xbox Series S consoles to teach children the fundamentals of gaming, teamwork, and sportsmanship.

The education programme also covers the history and evolution of esports, the different types of games and genres, and the role they can play in different aspects of the industry.

The young people will get the chance to develop their gaming skills and understand the importance of strategic thinking, problem-solving, communication, and interpersonal skills in esports. The curriculum also includes fun-filled activities and interactive exercises to keep children engaged and motivated throughout the program. 

It culminates with the young people taking part in competitions, and they will meet students who are studying further education courses in esports at the Dundee and Angus College. 

The young people taking part will achieve their level 2 Young STEM leader award, provided by the Scottish Schools Educational Resource Centre (SSERC), and schools can achieve part of the Education Scotland STEM Nation award. 

Cllr Lynne Devine, Angus Council’s children and learning convenor, said: “It’s fantastic to see our young people in primary schools get the chance to take part in this ground-breaking opportunity to develop their gaming skills and knowledge.

“Esports is a great way to inspire students to pursue STEM careers, whether that’s sparking an interest in computer science, engineering or other STEM fields. Just like traditional sports, esports requires players to work as a team and communicate effectively to succeed, all skills that are in demand by employers and something that is essential to teach our young people as they move into the world of work.”

James Hood, CEO of Esports Scotland, said: “Esports Scotland are committed to growing and supporting the esports industry in Scotland. We have a large focus on education, and we are delighted to be able to support this initiative and support bring esports to schools across the Angus area.”

The project came about as a result of STEM funding from Education Scotland and Angus Council.

Working in partnership with Esports Scotland, Dundee and Angus College and SSERC, teachers in Angus Council primary schools have been engaging in their own professional learning regarding what esports is and its place in the Scottish curriculum.

Armed with this knowledge, teachers are using Xbox Series S consoles provided with funding by Microsoft and Angus Council, alongside The Gaming Van (a Dundee based company who supported the project), in lessons to educate pupils. 

Esports is set to become a big part of Dundee’s regeneration with plans for a 4,000-seat city centre venue in the shape of the Northern Lights Arena Europe (NLAE).

The sector was boosted recently with news that esports will be included in the Commonwealth and Olympic Games. Cognitive Market Research predicts that esports will grow from a market value of $1.42bn in 2022 to $4.47bn by 2030.