Help Inspire the Next Generation of Creators and Change Makers - Digital Promise

Help Inspire the Next Generation of Creators and Change Makers

September 6, 2022 | By and

Since launching in 2021, teachers and students from around the world have taken part in Ciena Solutions Challenge, a design challenge from Digital Promise and Ciena that invites middle and high school students to use Challenge Based Learning to design solutions that address the Sustainable Development Goals within their communities. Starting today, educators can share student projects for the next round of the Challenge and apply for $2,500 USD in funding to sustain and scale student work.

“This Challenge brought out the best in my students. I got to know what kinds of skills my students had, and it created the kind of environment where there were things we could learn together and things I could learn from them.” – Theode Niyirinda, Educator, Gayaza High School, Kampala, Uganda

Connect with Ciena Solutions Challenge Educators at our Roundtable

Key to the success of the Ciena Solutions Challenge are educators who center student agency and create learning experiences where students can use their skills and knowledge to change the world for the better.

T-Shirt printed with "Pollution is not the solution" writing.

Student-designed Pollution Is Not the Solution T-Shirt. Photo Credit: @whalebabess.

Join our educator roundtable discussion on Wednesday, Sept. 28 to hear from the teachers about how they help students use Challenge Based Learning to explore big ideas, ask thoughtful questions, investigate challenges, and act to create solutions to issues that matter to them. Educators from Brazil, Nigeria, Uganda, and the United States will share stories about how the Ciena Solutions Challenge enabled them to engage students, supported their teaching practice, and helped students make an impact in their communities.

Event: Ciena Solutions Challenge Educator Roundtable
Time: Thursday, September 28, 2022 at 8 a.m. PT / 11 a.m. ET
Register now

Submit Student Projects and Apply for Funding to Sustain and Scale Students’ Work

A student sitting in front of a computer looking at a photo gallery.

Gayaza High School student in Uganda preparing photos to share on their project blog. Photo credit: Theode Niyirinda

Educators can now submit student projects to feature in the Ciena Solutions Challenge Gallery, a showcase of media products created by students around the world. Projects 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 projects. 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.

Between now and the March 1, 2023 project submission deadline, Digital Promise and Ciena will offer professional learning and mentoring opportunities to support educators and students throughout their Ciena Solutions Challenge activities. In addition, check out more educator stories in a new Educator Stories blog series featuring examples, inspiration, and classroom resources from educators around the world.

Register for the Ciena Solutions Challenge Today

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 6, 2022
  • Project Submission Deadline: March 1, 2023
  • Awards Announced: April 2023
  • YouthMADE Festival: May 2023
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