Tag Archives: Backfield In Motion

TSU launches academic eSports Center; 30 area school students kick off inaugural program

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – For the love of gaming, kids at a young age can flesh out their skills and get into the multibillion-dollar industry of video gaming, or eSports right here at Tennessee State University.

More than 30 students from the Metro Nashville area and surrounding counties were eager to learn about coding and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)  programs as they were introduced to virtual reality applications, game design and coding at TSU’s first academic eSports event.

A young student tests skills at the virtual reality gaming event. (Photo by Aaron Grayson)

Students from Backfield In Motion, an academic after school program for students grades 1-12, cheered as they geared up for gaming and coding at the University’s Avon Williams Campus.

Dr. Robbie Melton, Assistance Vice President of the SMART Innovation Technology Center at TSU said the purpose of academic eSports and coding robotics is to take video gaming and pathway it into the University’s esteemed curriculum.

“We want them (students) to know that they can be gamers and also game makers, so we’re going to introduce game design, basic coding skills … as well as virtual and augmented reality,” Melton said. “Our goal is to take them from playing, into the world of coding.” 

Junior Ambassadors assist young gamers at the launching of the Academic eSports Center. (Photo by Aaron Grayson)

Upon arrival, the students had a virtual Q & A session with Jyden Mcbath-Spencer, a professional eSports NBA2K League player for the Brooklyn Nets, who talked about his career path and gaming experience.

The students then broke off into groups to begin their academic eSports day.

The first group of students enjoyed playing their favorite games in the eSports gaming area, while others were tasked to code a robotic ball that went through a maze.

The third group of students were in a virtual reality center that, “takes student into a virtual world so they can now … immerse themselves into the teaching and learning,” Melton said.

More than 30 area students participated in the one-day Academic eSports Center Summer Community Camp. (Photo: Aaron Grayson)

Dr. Effua Ampadu-Moss, director of TSU’s eSports program said the goal is to recruit students, graduate and have careers within the eSports industry.

TSU alum Micah Kimble Sr., Chief Operating Officer for Backfield In Motion, said he looks forward to what the center has in store for the students.

“I love bringing the students to my alma mater,” Kimble Sr., said. “They (students) get to see some of these great STEM careers that eSports has to offer … and it gives an opportunity for the kids to see something different.”

“I’m really excited for these kids. They will never forget this day.”

For more information on the TSU Academic eSports Center, visit https://www.tnstate.edu/hbcuc2/index.html

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 39 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and seven doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.