It may be true that the best time to plant a tree was 10 years ago, but Microsoft Education partners are offering creative ways to get students engaged in sustainability today. Building on Microsoft’s commitment to a more sustainable future, partners Ludenso and Wakelet are getting ready for the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) with exciting opportunities for students.

Visualizing the future with Ludenso

Following their successful Ocean Challenge, which enabled more than 1,000 children to learn about the ocean and about how Microsoft uses technology to solve climate challenges, Ludenso is now inviting teachers and students to join the Ludenso Sustainability Challenge throughout October. Based on two UN Sustainable Development Goals, including goal  7—“ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all”—and goal 11—“make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable”— the Sustainability Challenge is free to participate in, including use of the technology.

As part of the challenge, students reflect on what kind of cities they want in the future in order to live sustainably. Will cities have cinemas, shops, nursing homes, and schools as they do today, or will they look completely different? 

Using Ludenso Create, students will then create 3D models of their own buildings that will be part of the class's future city, and will explore using augmented reality (AR) technology in the schoolyard. 

Powered by Microsoft Azure and compatible with Microsoft Office 365, Ludenso supports forward-looking teachers with secure, fast, and simple technology, and allows students to get creative across subjects with 3D and AR.

"Every child's ideas and passion for sustainability are important," says Ludenso CMO Ingrid Skrede. "We, as technology developers, must make it easier for students to work more creatively and consume less digital content." But, she says, "to make this happen, we need dedicated teachers who dare to try new solutions for meaningful technology projects."

Elevating student voices with Wakelet and Microsoft Teams

To involve younger students in the issues that impact their future, Wakelet is hosting British children ages 7 to 13 in a House of Commons-style parliamentary debate. Students from 650 constituencies in the United Kingdom will discuss key issues like climate change, poverty, and education in this Teams-enabled Children’s Parliament

According to Wakelet CEO and founder Jamil Khalil, “Wakelet is proud to support such an incredible initiative to curate the views of young people nationwide. Technology played a big part in remote education over the last year, and it continues to enable the nation’s young people to share and collaborate on their ideas. We’re delighted to continue to help bring their ideas and thoughts to life on Wakelet around this incredibly important topic.” 

The event will be amplified by Wakelet and media outlets in the United Kingdom. 

Find more sustainability-focused Microsoft Education partners at COP26.