Utilizing Buildathons as a Form of Esports through Minecraft

Middle & High School Track

10/09/20, 12:00PM - 12:30PM PT

About the Presentation

Covid 19 forced us to not only rethink education but rethink esports. NASEF pivoted to create opportunities to emphasize community over traditional competition. Erik Leitner and Steve Isaacs partnered with NASEF through their affiliations with Florida Scholastic Esports League and Garden State Esports to create a series of Covid related challenges for students and educators around the world to keep kids engaged academically in a meaningful way. This was the start of a series of related challenges including the NASEF Minecraft Faceoff, the Global Minecraft Masters, and The year long Rube Goldberg activities which have just begun. These challenges have brought minecraft players of all ages all around the world together to participate in PBL in amazing ways. Find out about the buildathon model as Erik and Steve share the past, current, and exciting future projects!

Steve Isaacs

Teacher, Game Design and Development &
Co-founder and Vice President, Garden State Esports

Steve Isaacs has been teaching since 1992. In 1998 began teaching in Bernards Township, NJ where he developed an internationally recognized middle and high school game development program. Steve is a pioneer in using VR and AR in the classroom. He is a champion for student choice and student, providing a choice based environment to help students find and nurture their passion for learning. Steve is an edtech influencer, community builder, and leader in game-based learning. He has brought commercial video games including Minecraft and Fortnite into his classroom to support students as content creators. Steve is actively involved in building the K12 to College Esports pipeline and co-founded the #EsportsEDU community as well as Garden State Esports. Steve was honored as the 2016 ISTE Outstanding Teacher and the PBS Digital Innovator representing the state of New Jersey.

Erik Leitner

STEM + Computer Science Instructional Facilitator,
Broward County Public Schools

Erik Leitner is a STEM and Computer Science Instructional Facilitator at Broward County Public Schools; the nation’s sixth largest district. Mr. Leitner is a CSF facilitator for Code.org and a district co-coordinator for SECME; the county's K-12 STEM Olympiad. He is certified in both K-6 education and K-12 Computer Science. A graduate of FAU, Mr. Leitner has worked for Broward County Schools for fifteen years; serving previously as a school-based science educator, science coach, and STEM coach. For the past two years he has developed the STEM and computer science curriculum for the Broward School District's ALIgn Camp initiative and has served as a facilitator for the program. As the lead for Minecraft Education in the district, Mr, Leitner has created student challenges and activities, both locally and globally, in partnership with NASEF.

Laylah Bulman

Senior Program Officer, Samueli Foundation

Laylah Bulman is the enterprise director for LEGO Education and a LEAD STEM Fellow, responsible for LEGO Education’s STEM + CS efforts across Florida and the national STEM Learning Ecosystems. Most recently, she has launched the Florida Scholastic Esports League, an affiliate of the North American Scholastic Esports Federation, to expand opportunities in STEM careers through the ecosystems framework. She began her career in the US Embassy in Mexico City, working on science and environmental policy and then moved into K12, working as a teacher, administrator and STEM ecosystem partner, focusing on the effective implementation and sustainability of creative education technologies for classroom innovation. She is a Woodrow Wilson Fellow in Public and International Affairs and a graduate of The University of Virginia.

Mike Washburn

Director of Engagement, Participate

Mike Washburn is a teacher, consultant, curriculum designer, and speaker on a number of topics including curriculum and technology integration, digital learning, computational thinking, iPad and tablet use in education, game/play based learning and video game based learning.