Harnessing Student Interest and Strategic Thinking at Merrill MS/HS

Did you know that Esports uses student interest to harness their strategic thinking, teamwork, communication, leadership and performance skills? We have seen our students’ confidence grow from their active participation in our Egaming Classes and Clubs. Merrill Community Schools is thankful to MACUL for helping us make this a reality. Although we had generous donations to fully equip our Esports classroom, we needed just a bit more additional funding to top it off. This was accomplished with the 2022 - 2023 MACUL Grant. 

The awarding of the MACUL Grant to Merrill Community Schools allowed for the purchase of a Sony PS5, Nintendo Switch, as well as additional controllers for each system.  These systems have been fully integrated into our dedicated Esports classroom which also features 13 high end gaming computers that were purchased through the support of another donor.

During the 2022 - 2023 school year Merrill fielded both Middle School and High School Esports teams.  The teams competed in a league with many other local schools at the Block House in Alma. The students wear matching school jerseys and represent Merrill, with commentators announcing the games and spectators watching.  The pride that you can see in students who before had not found their niche is a very important reminder of why we work so hard to offer choices to our students. All the while, we also see their vital skills for reaching their full potential, which in turn gives them the confidence they need to use those skills.  

In addition to our Esports teams, at Merrill, Esports classes have been fully integrated into the curriculum of our Middle School and High School.  Merrill offers a Middle School and High School class each semester throughout the school year.  There were over 100 students that chose to take Esports as one of their electives in the 2022 - 2023 school year.  During these classes students learn to problem solve, plan and implement strategies in order to compete with each other. They are communicating with their partners and using teamwork to their advantage. We have seen students build stronger ties with their classmates and overall more positive attitudes towards school.

Merrill Community Schools is a small community school that continually strives to provide the best experiences possible for our students.  Thanks to the MACUL Grant and other generous donors we are able to provide our students with a fully functioning Esports classroom that is an innovative means of supporting our students in strategic thinking, teamwork, communication, leadership, performance skills and confidence building. Harnessing students’ interest has proven to be a great way to help them grow and learn!