Microsoft’s mission is to empower every student on the planet to achieve more. That means cultivating curiosity and creativity in innovative new ways — and that’s just what the Global Enterprise Challenge is all about.
Developed by the Broadclyst Community Primary School, a UK-based Showcase School, the Global Enterprise Challenge has already inspired more than 1,000 nine- to 12-year-old entrepreneurs from 20 countries.
The mission of the Challenge? To increase students’ understanding of cultural diversity, entrepreneurial skills, economic awareness, communication and collaboration skills, problem-solving skills and creativity – all through the use of Office 365 technology.
2016 Global Education Challenge winners
If this year’s winners — judged by a panel including journalist Merlin John and Microsoft Education team member Mark Sparvell — are any indication, the Global Enterprise Challenge is fulfilling its mission…and then some.
Here are this year’s winners:
1st Place: Makassed Khalil Shehab Primary School, Lebanon – Recycled Products Company
2nd Place: Broadclyst Community Primary School, UK – Recycled Products Company
3rd Place: La Devesa Bilingual School, Spain – Muffin Company
More than a just a challenge: a new way of thinking
The Challenge has also had some unexpected benefits. Given the choice of keeping profits for their own schools or donating them to charity, many of the teams chose to give back.
According to Matthew Pitts, a teacher with Broadclyst’s second-place team, “Toward the end of the project, students were thinking of what to do with their profits,” he says. “I have been stunned by the number who want to make charitable donations. I’m quite proud!”
The children at first-place winner Makassed Khalil Shehab Primary School gifted their profits to the Makassed Hospital Cancer Fund Unit.
“The exciting thing for me is watching how Microsoft tools liked Office 365, Skype, Sway and Yammer are seamlessly used by these businesses to undertake market research, create, understand data, collaborate beyond their school and reach new markets,” noted chief judge Mark Sparvell. “This is truly self-directed authentic learning.”
But Judge Merlin John may have captured the Global Enterprise Challenge’s true value best. “Children watch the TV news, too – unemployment, global warming, refugees, armed conflict –
and none of it goes over their heads,” he says. “They want to change the world, and educators want to help them. That’s why the Microsoft Global Enterprise Challenge is so powerful and reassuring.”