Welcome to the Think It Up newsletter — your dose of student imagination, teacher innovation, and education inspiration. This month, we venture to Denver, talk with JK Simmons, and celebrate learning in action.


JK Simmons discusses his
devotion to teachers


Oscar winning actor JK Simmons was born to a family of teachers, and the ‘Whiplash’ star is so devoted to the profession he declares that it’s “in his blood.” Watch him discuss how teachers inspire a love and passion for learning.


Project Spotlight:
Denver Drip


Last month, students from West Leadership Academy won $1000 for their Think It Up project concept entitled "Denver Drip." The students brainstormed the development of an initiative to install efficient water-fountains, test showerheads, and educate the community about conservation. “Our project won’t solve the issue,” they explained, “but it is a solid start.” It’s your turn to start a project you’re passionate about.


Student-Powered Project:
Robotics Doesn't Have to Be Hard


When a group of student engineers in a robotics club at George Washington Community High School began to learn how to design and control a robot as a team, their teacher took their challenge further, asking them to get others interested in robotics. That’s when their idea for a ROBO kit was born. Read more about how Judith, Jamea, Tristen, and Isaac are not only excited to further explore the world of engineering, but how they are using that passion to work collaboratively on developing their leadership skills.


Think It Up is an initiative of the Entertainment Industry Foundation designed to create a culture of excitement about teaching and learning. Think It Up and its supporters — The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Staples, Ashoka, and ExxonMobil — invite students ages 13+ in grades 7-12 at district or public charter schools to work with their teachers to develop projects that draw on the students’ passions and help them pursue their educational goals.