Denver hosted the first-ever Think It Up event, a nationwide initiative that supports the development of student-driven learning projects. This event, hosted at George Washington thinkitupHigh School, was started by the Entertainment Industry Foundation powered by and brought together more than 200 Denver students from 7-12 grades along with their teachers to create and share their ideas for innovative learning projects in order to get funding.

Denver community leaders, including Mayor Michael Hancock, Colorado Avalanche Center Matt Duchene and Denver Public Schools Board President Anne Rowe, came together to kick off the live event. Mayor Hancock said, “We are pleased that the Entertainment Industry Foundation selected Denver to host the first-ever Think It Up live event…and I can’t wait to see these projects come to life.”

Students at Career Education Middle College of Denver, (CEC) Gisel (high school sophomore) and Tito (high school junior), stated that Think It Up allowed them to take their projects even further than they have been able to so far. The CEC students had been working on their water conservation project for weeks, following a challenge to help resolve societal issues at an thinkitup-kidsevent earlier in the school year, Challenge 5280. Think It Up would not be possible without the generous support of donors, including Staples, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, ExxonMobil and others.

Students from West Leadership Academy in DPS won first place in the event, receiving $1,000 to fund their project, which raises awareness for water conservation and educates students on the importance of saving water. The five other semi-finalist teams each received $750 to further jumpstart their projects. Although the event was judged, every group was a winner. All participating teams received $100 in funding credits to kick-start their projects.

It is clear that thanks to programs like Think It Up, students are inspired to do more and realize how much of a positive difference they can already make in the community. Misael, high school junior from West Generations Academy stated, “There is so much good change you can do with your project….having Think It Up to help give you funding to start off your ideas, is huge. That is why our team is here.”

To find out how to receive additional funding for your students’ projects visit