Andy Roddick, Brooklyn Decker, And Austin Officials Join Austin Teachers & Students At "Think It Up Live" Pitch Competition For Innovative Learning Projects

Think It Up Visits SXSWedu with Panel, Booth and Live Event as Part of Initiative from The Entertainment Industry Foundation to Empower Students and Celebrate Teachers

GreenSafe from Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders Wins Pitch Competition and Kick Starts Project to Reduce Food Waste

Mar 11, 2016, 08:54 ET from Entertainment Industry Foundation

LOS ANGELES, March 11, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Think It UpTM, the new initiative from the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), joined Brooklyn Decker, Andy Roddick, Austin officials including Independent School District Superintendent Dr. Paul Cruz, and hundreds of local students and teachers on March 10th during SXSWedu for the second in a national series of Think It Up Live pitch competitions. Alongside a panel and booth activation on-site at SXSWedu, the live pitch event was designed to empower students, celebrate teachers and build optimism about what's possible in America's classrooms. The event drew students and teachers from 24 traditional district and public charter schools in Austin.

Think It Up Live Brings Spirit of SXSW to Local Austin Students and Teachers
At Think It Up Live, student-teacher teams across Austin came together to pitch VIP judges and Austin-based husband/wife couple Andy Roddick and Brooklyn Decker on their innovative learning ideas. Roddick, the founder of the Andy Roddick Foundation and retired tennis star, and well-known "Grace and Frankie" actress Decker, listened as students put their best ideas forward at this science fair-meets "shark tank"-type event designed to promote empowered, engaged learning. 

The winning team was selected from a group of 50 teams and came from Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders, and received $1,000 to fund their project, which created a produce spoilage tracker to reduce food waste. All participating teams received $100 in funding credits to kick-start their projects.

All funding credits are applied once teachers will post projects at ThinkItUp.orga first-of-its-kind platform available to all public school students and educators (grades 7-12) in partnership with, the popular teacher crowd-funding charity. To help bring to life more student-powered, teacher-led projects, Think It Up covers half each of each proposals total cost by EIF's supporters, including Ashoka's Start Empathy initiative, ExxonMobil and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, with the rest raised through crowd-funding.

The event follows the success of EIF's inaugural Think It Up telecast that aired in September, and first Think It Up Live event in Denver held in December.

Think it Up Debuts at SXSWedu
To spread awareness among education innovators, Think It Up participated in its first panel and expo at Austin's SXSWedu conference. The "Think Rethink: Crowdsourcing Innovation Panel" on March 8th  featured Creative Artists Agency Chief Innovation Officer Michelle Kydd Lee as moderator of a discussion featuring Jennifer Golub from MAL/FOR GOOD and Hillary Moglen from XQ: The Super School and Mike Marriner for Road Trip Nation. The panel discussed the power of crowdsourcing to generate ideas, including how each organization defines the crowd and why is it important to bring broader, mainstream cultural attention to education in the United States.

At the SXSWedu convention center, the Think It Up booth brought the pitch competition to the expo, bringing to life the initiative's excitement for learning by inviting visitors to submit an idea to bring their learning in the classroom to life.

About the Entertainment Industry Foundation
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. SU2C accelerates research to get new therapies to patients quickly. Since its founding seven years ago, SU2C has launched 16 collaborative "Dream Teams" comprising over 940 scientists from 123 leading institutions around the world. That research, including 151 planned, initiated or completed clinical trials, has led to Food and Drug Administration approval of two new treatments.  In just 15 months, Hunger Is, EIF's collaboration with The Safeway Foundation, has significantly raised awareness of childhood hunger in the United States and over $10 Million to support breakfast, afterschool and out-of-school meal programs.

About Think It Up
Think It Up is an initiative to empower students, celebrate teachers and spark a renewed sense of optimism about what is happening and can happen in America's classrooms. It is made possible through the generous support of corporations, foundations and philanthropists. Major supporters include The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, ExxonMobil and Ashoka's Start Empathy Initiative, as well as founding collaborator,  XQ: The Super School Project.  Think It Up is a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.

About SXSWedu®
The SXSWedu Conference & Festival fosters innovation in learning by hosting a diverse and energetic community of stakeholders across a variety of backgrounds in education. The four-day event affords registrants open access to engaging sessions, interactive workshops, hands-on learning experiences, film screenings, early-stage startups and a host of networking opportunities. By providing a platform for collaboration, SXSWedu works to promote creativity and social change.

SXSWedu is a component of the South by Southwest® family of conferences and festivals that includes SXSW® Music, Film and Interactive; SXSW Eco® and SXSW V2V®. Internationally recognized as the convergence gathering for the creative arts, SXSWedu extends SXSW's support for the art of engagement beyond musicians, filmmakers and new media innovators to include society's true rock stars: educators.

Founded in 2000, makes it easy for anyone to help a classroom in need. Teachers at over two thirds of all the public schools in America have created project requests, and nearly 2 million people have donated $380 million to projects that inspire them.  Over 16 million students -- most from low-income communities and many in disaster-stricken areas -- have received books, art supplies, field trips, technology, and other resources that they need to learn. | | Twitter: @think_it_up | Instagram: @think_it_up

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SOURCE Entertainment Industry Foundation