How to Participate

The Ciena Solutions Challenge invites educators and students to connect with their community, design solutions that address the Sustainable Development Goals, and receive support to scale their solutions.

This Challenge is accessible to educators of all subjects and at all levels of experience. Whether you are a seasoned educator or just beginning your journey, we're supporting you and students to design a solution through five steps based on the Challenge Based Learning framework. Challenge Based Learning is helpful for completing the Ciena Solutions Challenge because it's collaborative and hands-on, asking all participants to identify big ideas, ask good questions, identify and solve challenges, gain in-depth subject area knowledge, develop 21st-century skills, and share their ideas with the world. 

Challenge Based Learning takes participants through three key phases (Engage, Investigate, and Act) which are reflected in the Facilitator's Guide and in the five steps below: 

Step 1: Explore the Big Idea

Teachers and students should first identify the big idea. A big idea is a broad theme or concept that can be explored in multiple ways and is important to you and the larger community. There are lots of places to look for big ideas—anywhere from the daily news to phenomena found in the natural world can serve as inspiration. 

Step 2: Engage

During the Engage phase, you and students will move from the big idea to a concrete and actionable challenge. Creating essential questions help guide you to your challenge idea. You can use our Engage resources or create your own.

Step 3: Investigate

The Investigate phase is all about discovering what you and students need to learn to address your challenge. Coming up with guiding questions will point you toward what you need to know and the resources and activities to help you get there. You can use our Investigate resources or create your own.

Step 4: Act

Here’s where you and students develop your solution, which could be anything from a product, a campaign, a physical space, or even a system. You can use our Act resources  to help you through the design process and identify your own.

Step 5: Share Your Project

After you have developed your solution, share it with the Ciena Solutions Challenge community and apply for a Ciena Solutions Challenge Sustainability Award to scale or sustain your solution.