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Curtin and UNESCO partner to tackle global challenges

Cite Magazine

Curtin University has embarked on a partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) that will give students a chance to generate real solutions to world problems.

Curtin’s Global Challenge online mobile app, currently under development, will help participants to understand and address real-world issues existing in the Asia Pacific region.

UNESCO says the Global Challenge app supports the organisation’s charter to mobilise education for sustainable development.

Curtin University Director Learning Engagement, Associate Professor David Gibson, says the app will blend online learning, team-based design and problem-solving experiences in an interactive way.

“What’s most exciting about this challenge is that participants will have the opportunity to pitch their ideas to UNESCO and potentially see their project implemented,” Professor Gibson says.

While the focus of the Global Challenge is the Asia Pacific, entrants will be eligible from anywhere in the world. The University also plans to release different versions of the app alongside the Global Challenge, including an app for Curtin students to hone their leadership skills.

A number of awards, including a Curtin University scholarship, will recognise outstanding individual and team projects, and Curtin and UNESCO will award participation certificates to those who complete challenges.

Curtin already manages the Western Australian portal of UNESCO’s worldwide UNEP-DHI 2014 Eco Challenge 2.0. The strategic online game allows school students to manage the water supply and distribution of a virtual town.

Both the Eco Challenge and new Global Challenge app are part of Curtin’s Learning for Tomorrow strategy, which aims to engage one million learners by 2017.