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Curtin launches new global game learning tool to tackle sustainability

Media release

Curtin University has launched an innovative, game-based learning program – which challenges the next generation to solve the world’s greatest sustainability problems – for students and staff around the globe.

Named Balance of the Planet and co-sponsored by Curtin University and the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Chair of Data Science in Higher Education Learning and Teaching, the new program will deliver online tools aimed at developing creativity, leadership and problem-solving skills among teenagers across the world.

The program will be launched at a presentation to hundreds of Australian and Mauritian high school students, including from Kent Street Senior High School, at the ‘It’s Our Future Earth Conference’, hosted by Curtin Mauritius and Australian National University in Mauritius from November 29 to December 1.

Curtin University Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic Professor Jill Downie said Balance of the Planet would teach students about tackling real-world sustainability issues in an interactive and fun way.

“This team problem-solving challenge will encourage our brightest young minds to identify potential solutions to ensure the sustainable development of the world,” Professor Downie said.

Balance of the Planet is a fine example of using innovation to engage the next generation and I am delighted it will be launched at Curtin Mauritius as we continue to find new ways to inspire the pursuit of education in our future innovators across the University’s four international campuses.”

Professor David Gibson, Director of Learning Futures at Curtin and the UNESCO Chair, said the students would be tasked with creating a solution for a UN Sustainable Development Goal of their choice, ranging from poverty and hunger to gender equality and climate change.

“The program has a high level of interactivity that allows staff to use real-time analytics in order to provide the appropriate support to students, making it easier for them to remain engaged and progress their learning,” Professor Gibson said.

“Now that Balance of the Planet has been launched internationally, students and staff all over the world will be able to develop their knowledge and skills while helping to address some of society’s most pressing issues.”

Professor Gibson will be presenting the new program at the three-day conference, which aims to cover a broad range of key innovations in science and other STEM fields that focus on achieving a sustainable ‘Future Earth’.

Balance of the Planet was created using Curtin’s unique Challenge learning platform, developed by the University’s Learning Futures team, and utilises Cisco’s WebEx Teams for global collaboration.

Curtin Challenge was recognised at the 2018 Curtinnovation Awards for being a unique online learning platform, which combines educational, organisational and assessment functions with self-directed team and individual learning.

For more information about Balance of the Planet, visit: https://balanceoftheplanet.wordpress.com/