What you need to start an esports program

Esports is seeing phenomenal growth, with the worldwide market expected to reach $2.2 billion by 2023. There are professional esports leagues for popular video games such as Overwatch, League of Legends, Rocket League, Call of Duty, Halo, Fortnite, and more.

As the popularity of esports continues to increase, colleges and universities have begun embracing esports as well. Last year, some 200 U.S. colleges offered about $16 million in esports scholarships, NBC News reports. That’s a threefold increase in scholarship money since 2015.

Related content: 4 ways to futureproof networks for an esports takeover…Read More

Teen upstages Google with autonomous car technology

A Romanian teenager figured out how to produce an autonomous car for only a fraction of the cost of Google’s self-driving car. Ionut Budisteanu, who won first place at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair this year, paired webcam imagery, artificial intelligence technology and low-resolution 3-D radar to guide his autonomous car through a series of 50 simulations, according to NBC News…

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Obama unveils White House brain-mapping project

The White House unveiled a human brain research program Tuesday that could point to new strategies for dealing with illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy and autism, NBC News reports. President Barack Obama was due to launch the BRAIN Initiative, which a White House official called a “bold, new” move “designed to recognize our understanding of the human brain. It follows a pledge Obama made in his State of the Union address, when he spoke of creating jobs through research and development. The project will be jump-started with a $100 million investment in 2014, the White House said, although the scientists who inspired the idea say the focus is not so much raising money as harnessing new technologies to uncover the secrets of neural function less expensively and more completely…

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NBC Learn launches ‘Writers Speak to Kids’ video series

NBC Learn, the education arm of NBC News, has launched an original video series called “Writers Speak to Kids,” featuring interviews with popular and award-winning children’s book authors. Answering questions from NBC News correspondent Jenna Bush Hager, the authors share their writing process and experiences, helping students learn more about the craft and techniques of creative writing.

The 17-part video series kicked off in September with interviews of five authors: Peter Brown, Doreen Cronin, Jeff Kinney, Daniel Kirk, and Mo Willems. Featuring the writers of New York Times bestselling and Newbery Award-winning titles, the “Writers Speak to Kids,” series will feature a wide variety of additional authors throughout the fall, including Nick Bruel, Michael Buckley, Douglas Florian, Amy Ignatow, Gordon Korman, Ridley Pearson, Judy Schachner, Laura Vaccaro Seeger, Philip C. Stead, Rebecca Stead, Clare Vanderpool, and Jacqueline Woodson.

“Writers Speak to Kids” is a free resource that can be found at www.nbclearn.com/writersspeak. NBC Learn also makes a much larger collection of “Writers Speak” interviews available to its subscribers at http://archives.nbclearn.com.…Read More

Four Calif. high school students arrested over claims of sex abuse during hazing

Four Los Angeles-area high school students have been arrested in an investigation into complaints that varsity soccer players sexually abused younger team members in hazing rituals that victims said were conducted with the complicity of a coach, NBC News reports. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department opened an investigation at the request of the school district after a parent of one boy who claimed to have been harassed by teammates came forward to lodge a complaint, school officials said. In a statement on the Hacienda La Puente Unified School District’s website, its superintendent Barbara Nakaoka said she shared people’s “shock and sadness.”

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Watch: How Shanghai’s students stunned the world, what the U.S. can learn

As American students continue to struggle in math and reading, students in Shanghai who took international exams for the first time outscored every other school system in the world, NBC News reports. The news isn’t particularly surprising. A 2009 study showed that U.S. students ranked 25th among 34 countries in math and science, behind nations like China, Singapore, South Korea, Hong Kong and Finland. When Shanghai students took international exams, they came out on top across all subjects. In the same test, American students ranked 25th in math, 17th in science and 14th in reading, NBC reports…

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