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By BETH ZUMWALT
Thanks to a Tracy Foundation grant, affiliated with DOT Foods, Bluffs Junior and Senior High students will receive 22 new lap tops. The additional lap tops will allow the school to offer an elective computer sciences course and the creation of an e-sports team.
“We went ahead and put a curriculum in place. Students have already registered for the computer sciences class,” Zack Morrissey, one of the teachers applying for the grant, said. “They might not be available for the first day of class,but, should be here soon. The students can do preliminary projects and learn some basics until they get here.”
The school is expecting the check in the next five days and as soon as it is received, the laptops will be ordered, with an expected delivery in 30 days, according to Morrissey.
Morrissey said the new course will allow students to do computer drafting, come up with concepts, design those concepts and with the help of the already available 3-D printer, produce their ideas.
“We will also be able to do graphic design,” Morrissey said.
Morrissey is co-planner of the project along with Jordan Mueller, also a teacher at the school.
The other advantage that comes with the addition of the computers is students will be able to participate in e-sports.
“We have been in touch with the National High School E-sports Association,” Morrisey said. “Our students will be able to compete against other students from all over the nation.”
Morrisey said he and Mueller wanted to make sure there was interest in e-sports so they held a meeting last spring at both Winchester and Bluffs.
“Winchester will be included because we co-op extra-curriculars,” Morrissey said. “We had at least 40 students come to the meeting.”
Games students will compete in include League of Legends, FortNite, MineCraft, etc and all games will be team based with five students per team.
Morrissey and Mueller hope to have the computer classes going at full steam in 30 days and be enrolled in competition for the e-sports by the second semester.