Announcing a New Ciena Solutions Challenge, Open to Students and Educators Worldwide - Digital Promise

Announcing a New Ciena Solutions Challenge, Open to Students and Educators Worldwide

Illustration of the Ciena Solutions Challenge, featuring a board of all of the Sustainable Development Global Goals

June 15, 2022 | By and

In 2021, Digital Promise and Ciena launched the Ciena Solutions Challenge, a global design challenge inviting middle and high school students to design solutions that address the Sustainable Development Goals within their communities.

Today, we are pleased to announce the launch of a new round of the Ciena Solutions Challenge. Educators anywhere in the world may now register on the Ciena Solutions Challenge website. Starting on September 1, educators may begin submitting student projects to feature in the Ciena Solutions Challenge Gallery, a showcase of media products created by students around the world. These might include podcasts, digital games, apps, data visualizations, interactive maps, or other creations leveraging digital tools and technologies to address the challenges they have identified.

Eligible educators may also apply for a Ciena Solutions Challenge Sustainability Award ($2,500 USD) to sustain or scale their Challenge project(s). Applications for a Ciena Solutions Challenge Sustainability Award must be submitted by March 1, 2023, and awardees will be announced in April 2023. All awards will be granted to the educators’ educational institutions.

Throughout the Challenge, Digital Promise and Ciena will offer professional learning and mentoring opportunities to support educators and students through Challenge Based Learning to explore big ideas, ask thoughtful questions, investigate challenges, and act to create solutions.

Get Inspiration From the 2021-2022 Challenge Awardees

Last month, we celebrated the first seventeen Ciena Solutions Challenge Sustainability Awardees and three Ciena Solutions Challenge Model Schools from Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, India, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, the United States, and Zimbabwe as part of the YouthMADE Festival. Joined by Ciena volunteers, student teams presented and received feedback in a series of panels focused on their innovative solutions to address food security, climate action, and quality education.

“It’s really great to see how youth from different parts of the world from Canada to India are all working and thinking [about] creative solutions to make the world better and becoming change agents across the globe – that’s really powerful to see.”

William Cavada, educator at Mt. Pleasant High School Team, San Jose, California, USA

Screenshot of a Zoom presentation prompting panelists to reflect on their experience. The captioned audio says "we really learned how hard it is to make and design."

Students from Pennsylvania, USA, presenting solution concepts as part of the Food Security panel.

“We want to continue with our project because we realize that it is helping so many kids have better food choices.”

Eveline Girls High School Team, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

Visit the Ciena Solutions Challenge Gallery to learn more about each of the awardees’ projects, as well as the other projects submitted by students and educators participating in the Challenge worldwide.

Screenshot of the project gallery on

Ciena Solutions Challenge Project Gallery

Register for the Ciena Solutions Challenge

Ready to take the Challenge? Register for the Ciena Solutions Challenge to receive updates, resources, submission tips, and opportunities to connect with Ciena volunteers.

Ciena Solutions Challenge Timeline:

  • Project Submissions Open: September 1, 2022
  • Project Submission Deadline: March 1, 2023
  • Awards Announced: April 2023
  • YouthMADE Festival: May 2023
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