Think It Up

Polaris Charter Academy was in the national spotlight on Friday, September 11th!

Polaris was spotlighted in a one-hour telecast across all four networks – ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX – that begins at 8 pm ET / 7 pm CT to kick off the launch of Think It Up, the Entertainment Industry Foundation’s (EIF) new education initiative on student-powered, project-based learning.

Watch the segment seen by millions around the country!

Our Polaris segment recognizes our student changemakers and their project promoting peace in their Chicago neighborhood. In 2013, 7th grade students authored a book The Peacekeepers of Chicago, created public service announcements about gun violence, and hosted a Day of Peace.  Then in 2015, current 7th graders built upon their work, interviewing new and past Peacekeepers in the community on how to create lasting change in neighborhoods and break negative stereotypes.

PodcastersTheir messages of peace have spread with the help of our community, local leaders, and media. Also, the students have been honored as keynote presenters at two national events: EL’s National Conference in Atlanta and the Deeper Learning conference in San Diego. In addition, the Peacekeeper Project is featured in the world’s largest collection of exemplary student work – Models of Excellence: The Center for High Quality Student Work – which is curated by EL and the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Support of all student-powered, project-based learning at Polaris by making a tax-deductible donation!

Think It Up aims to generate a sense of excitement about learning and renew a sense of promise for all of America’s public school students. The September 11th telecast will be hosted by entertainment luminaries, including Kristen Bell, Stephen Colbert, Scarlett Johansson, Matthew McConaughey, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jeremy Renner, Ryan Seacrest, and Jessica Williams.

During the program, the Polaris project will help kick off EIF’s initiative to accept donations via, a first-of-its-kind platform to fund student-powered, teacher-led learning projects in partnership with, the popular teacher crowdfunding charity. As a national leader in project-based learning, EL was recruited to be an educational advisor over the next three years to the Think It Up campaign and the DonorsChoose funding platform. EL will help provide structures and models to guide students and teachers toward creating work of quality. Polaris is an EL Mentor and Credentialed School and EL is supporting us in spreading the word and live-tweeting throughout the event.