Sunny Hills High esports program engages students while building computer skills – OECD Newsroom


Sunny Hills High School’s award-winning esports program in Fullerton was recently featured in a news segment that was distributed to PBS stations across California.

The article shows how video gaming engages students while building computer skills, enhancing communication and collaboration, and shedding light on potential career paths in STEAM fields – otherwise known as science, technology , engineering, arts and mathematics.

“Inside California Education: The Gamer Generation – The Rise of Esports” originally aired in March on KVIE, a public television station in Northern California. But you can watch the Sunny Hills High segment above.

“Esports is quickly becoming a popular college sport. In 2016, there were only 7 colleges offering college eSports teams. In 2022, there were over 170 colleges with over 5,000 students playing eSports.

– Inside California Education

Led by counselor Myra Deister, who teaches computer science and math, the Sunny Hills esports club started in 2014. Practice sessions allow players to develop their skills and try out places in the competitive team, which competes against other local schools, regional and national tournaments.

Speaking of which, the Fullerton Joint Union High School District campus won the first-ever North America Scholastic Esports Federation Championship for its League of Legends play in 2019.

Electronic Sports in Orange County

With funding from the Samueli Foundation, the North America Scholastic Esports Federation was formed in late 2017 with support from the Orange County Department of Education, UC Irvine, and other partners aimed at leveraging the popularity of the game to promote collaboration, engagement, problem solving and other skills.

Research conducted by UCI over the next two years showed that students who participated in NASEF events were more interested in STEM careers, demonstrated greater critical thinking skills, and reported levels higher levels of school engagement. The UCI also found natural connections between league activities and state standards for science, math, and English.

NASEF, which developed digital toolkits and a program to amplify educational benefits, was honored as a model of public-private partnership in 2019 by the Orange County Business Council.

For more information on the North America Scholastic Esports Federation, visit

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