Hi Reddit! Thanks for giving me your interest in this AMA on 8/30/17!
My name is Nick Lenk. I'm a science teacher. I've taught in Colorado, Iowa, and I currently teach in Michigan. I got my undergraduate degree in astronomy from the University of Colorado - Boulder, I got my masters degree in natural science education from Colorado State University, and I'm a PhD candidate at Wayne State University in education leadership and policy.
I currently teach physics and AP physics at Cass Technical High School in Detroit Public Schools Community District.
My dissertation is a multi-case study into two very large video game clubs in two different parts of North America. I am exploring what qualities of each club have made them successful, and I'll be developing a hypothesis for what engages students most effectively through the use of video game clubs.
I've built two video game clubs. My first was in Des Moines, Iowa, where I created a club solely focused on the game League of Legends. Aside from our brief meetings after school, we had LAN parties two or three times a year with over 50 attendees. The club grew beyond my school, and started to include many students from Central Iowa. A video created by Riot Games, the company who makes League of Legends, can be found here:
My second club is the one I'm currently running here in Detroit. It is a general video game club that allows all types of games. The students come in with their video game systems, I provide the monitors and the space, and they play from 3:15-6pm on Fridays. Last year we had an average of 109 students come to our 26 meetings throughout the year. These are only students from the high school I work at, which has a population of around 2400 students. A video giving you a glimpse of the club can be found here:
When I'm not working on my PhD, teaching, or in Video Game Club, I like to spend my free time hanging out with my amazing wife, making tasty ales, reading a fantasy or S.F. book, or (shock!) playing some video games.