Digital Promise and Ciena launch global challenge to unleash students’ creativity

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This article was written by ITP staff and posted to on September 16, 2021.

Digital Promise and Ciena have launched the Ciena Solutions Challenge, a new global design challenge where educators around the world can submit student-led projects for funding and exhibition.

The Ciena Solutions Challenge invites middle and high school students globally (education level equivalent to ages 11-19) to design solutions that address the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals within their communities. The two companies will provide professional learning and mentoring opportunities to educators and students participating in the Challenge.

Starting on September 15, educators can apply for a Sustainability Award of USD2,500 to sustain and scale student projects. If selected, the funding will be granted to the educator’s educational institution.

“The next generation of problem-solvers need opportunities to design solutions that tackle real world challenges in their local communities. The Ciena Solutions Challenge aims to engage and inspire students to reimagine a better world while gaining critical hands-on experience with digital skills and advanced technologies.” said Gary Smith, president and CEO of Ciena.

“This collaborative partnership with Digital Promise is a key part of our digital Inclusion program and we look forward to seeing the creativity and innovation that the students bring.”

Jean-Claude Brizard, president and CEO of Digital Promise, added: “The Ciena Solutions Challenge offers learners opportunities to connect to their learning in ways that are authentic and personal, to learn through inquiry, collaborate with their community and take positive action to make a difference in their local communities.

“The Ciena Solutions Challenge exemplifies what powerful learning experiences can look like, and offers educators and students support and recognition for making a positive impact.”