Thomas Jefferson

High School | Home of the Spartans

Unleash The Ideas Of Students

Posted 05/14/2016 by Jalyssa Vigil

Students representing Denver Public Schools present their idea at Think It Up Live. photo by Jalyssa Vigil

The Think It Up program takes students’ ideas and brings them to life through public funding.

A new program called Think It Up will allow students in grades 7-12 to bring their ideas to life. The program is powered by, and is designed to develop student-powered projects which will make an everlasting difference in the community.

Think it Up is a way for students to display their full potential and ideas. Though the process to get one’s idea funded is long, it is well worth the effort in the end. When students envision a new idea, they work with teachers to create a student-powered class project that describes the project’s impact. then processes each project request to ensure that it will benefit the community in a positive way.

Once the project is reviewed and deemed appropriate, it is able to be shared with family and friends to help fund the idea. Once a project gets funded, will ship all the materials needed for the project directly to the individual’s school. As soon as the school has received all the materials, all the students need to do is get to work and make the idea a reality. Participants agree to take photos so that they can later thank donors for sponsoring their project. As the final project comes into focus, students can upload photos to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Snapchat with the hashtag #ThinkItUp to spread their project with the world.

Created in 2000 by Charles Best, a former public school teacher in the Bronx, New York, was established to allow individuals to donate directly to classroom projects in public schools. The website was designed originally for schools in the Bronx area, but following Hurricane Katrina in 2006, the website opened schools in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Texas in hopes of restoring their communities to how they were before the devastation. The following year Best realized the impact his website had on those schools, and decided to make his foundation for every public school in the United States. encourages students to not only get involved with one another, but with teachers as well.

This year, over 200 students and teachers from Denver Public Schools gathered together at George Washington High School for the first ever Think It Up live event. There were eight groups which each consisted of six teams per group. All of the teams were given 40 minutes to finalize their idea and then had three minutes to present their idea to the other teams in their group. While each group was presenting, judges walked around, scoring their pitches. Once every team had presented their idea, six teams were called upon to move on to the final round. The remaining six presented onstage to a second set of judges and from there the winner was crowned. This year’s winners were students from Denver West High School, whose project was called “Denver Drip.” This project was for students and community members to replace existing shower heads with water-efficient and timed shower heads programed to shut off automatically. As a result of their work, they earned a grand prize of $1,000 to help kick-start their project. The remaining five finalists were awarded $750 and all participating teams were awarded $100 funding credits to start their projects as well.

Think It Up is designed to help those students who have ideas, yet do not know where to go with them. Many are getting involved and are trying as hard as they can to spread the word regarding the foundation. With the help of social media, people are joining together to get involved and make this foundation as successful as possible. Students here at TJ have great minds and ideas, and hopefully they will recognize the full potential of the program and take advantage of this great opportunity in future years.