DENVER, Dec. 9, 2015 |  The Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), a leading charitable organization of the entertainment industry, hosted the first-ever Think It Up™ Live pitch competition yesterday, bringing more than 200 Denver-area students and teachers together to create and pitch ideas for powerful learning projects and receive seed funding.

West Leadership Academy won a Denver Pitch Competition — thus kickstarting a project to support water conservation.

The event marked a major milestone for Think It Up, as the national education initiative has now fully-funded over 600 student-powered, teacher-led projects across the country since its inaugural telecast in September. 

The aim of Think It Up is to start a new movement in support of students, teachers and schools, creating a culture of excitement about learning everywhere in America.

The initiative invites students, age 13+ in grades 7-12 in public schools, to work with their teachers to develop learning projects that draw on their passions and connect what they are working on in the classroom to the challenges they will face in the future. In partnership with their teachers, students can request the materials they need to pursue rigorous learning opportunities.

Colorado Avalanche Center Matt Duchene at EIF’s Think it Up Live Event (PRNewsFoto/Entertainment Industry Foundati)Think It Up has engaged celebrities and education/community influencers to help build excitement about learning and encourage ongoing support for students and teachers. On September 11, 2015, ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC simultaneously broadcasted the live Think It Up one-hour special, which included Kristen Bell, Stephen Colbert, Terry Crews, Scarlett Johansson, Matthew McConaughey, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jeremy Renner, Ryan Seacrest, Jessica Williams, Will.i.am and other stars from film, television, sports, music and digital media. 

The student-powered, teacher-led projects are crowdfunded by citizen donors and half funded by a number of EIF’s supporters, including Ashoka’s Start Empathy initiative, ExxonMobil, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Staples.

First-Ever Think It Up Live Celebrates Denver Students’ Passion and Creativity
Denver leaders including Mayor Michael Hancock, Colorado Avalanche Center Matt Duchene and Denver Public Schools (DPS) Board President Anne Rowe helped kick off the first-ever Think It Up Live event, which showcased students’ passion for learning in a science fair-meets-“shark tank” style pitch competition. Students created and pitched innovative learning projects to judges and experts, with all participating teams receiving $100 in funding credits to kick-start their projects.

The winning team came from West Leadership Academy, and received $1,000 to fund their project, which raises awareness for water conservation and teaches water-saving skills. Five additional semi-finalists received $750 in funding credits towards their projects.

The students’ teachers can create projects at www.ThinkItUp.org, where the public has the opportunity to provide additional funding.

“The Denver community is committed to furthering education and inspiring learning, which is why we are so pleased that the Entertainment Industry Foundation selected Denver to host the first-ever Think It Up Live event,” said Denver Mayor Michael Hancock. “The event showcased just how much creativity, ingenuity and passion this community has, and I can’t wait to see these projects come to life.” 

For more information, visit http://www.thinkitup.org or find Think It Up on Facebook (Facebook.com/ThinkItUp.org), Twitter (@think_it_up) and Instagram (@think_it_up).

The Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), established in 1942, harnesses the collective power of the entire industry to generate awareness and funds for critical health, educational and social issues.

Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), EIF’s largest initiative, was established in 2008 by film and media leaders who utilize the industry’s resources to engage the public in supporting a new, collaborative model of cancer research, and to increase awareness about cancer prevention as well as progress being made in the fight against the disease. CultureOfOneWorld.org

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