Local College Students Raise Money, Awareness for Wildlife Conservation Efforts

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On May 29, students at Tribeca Flashpoint Academy team up with Hardshell Labs to present the results of their multimedia fundraising campaigns supporting four charitable organizations.

This May, students at Chicago’s Tribeca Flashpoint Academy (TFA) will participate in an extraordinary crowdfunding campaign aimed at raising money and awareness for four wildlife conservation charities.

Dubbed Small Blue Dot: A Conservation Campaign, this student-led effort pits first-year student teams against one another to raise the most money for their team’s charity—and vie for an additional $5000 donation from their college. Participating charities include Caribbean Wildlife Alliance, Lewis Center for Educational Research, Reef.org, and International Elephant Foundation.

All four original fundraising campaigns will be rooted in digital media—the focus of each of TFA’s degree programs—drawing on the skills students have learned throughout their first two semesters. Incorporating social media, online games, video PSAs, and more, the completed campaigns will be presented at a live event at Chicago’s CBS Studios on May 29th, where a panel of industry experts will determine the winner and recipient of TFA’s $5000 donation.

Supporting students in their campaigning efforts is Hardshell Labs, a Berkeley-based research organization focused on crowd-sourced conservation. Hardshell Labs turned heads earlier this year when founder Tim Shields gave a well-received talk at TEDxBerkeley about how emergent technologies can help make conservation both meaningful and fun.

“Hardshell Labs is an extraordinary partner to have supporting Small Blue Dot,” said Peter Hawley, Academic Dean at Tribeca Flashpoint Academy. “Their leadership in the field of conservation as well as their research into making conservation fun and engaging will greatly influence our students’ fundraising efforts. We’re looking forward to seeing some truly innovative work come out of this partnership.”

Small Blue Dot is the latest of Tribeca Flashpoint Academy’s semi-annual Production In Action classes. The culmination of each student’s first-year curriculum, Production In Action provides students the opportunity to be part of a large-scale, real-world production experience. During this course (which adopts a different format each time it runs), students work together in cross-disciplinary teams to plan and execute a large-scale, multifaceted live production while learning to think on their feet, solve problems in real-time, and create high-quality results in an immersive, collaborative setting.

Past Production In Action projects have included among others At the Mart, a sketch comedy show featuring Second City comedians and live musical guest Rhymefest; Campaign for a Cause, which raised funds for five humanitarian organizations; and INCubator, a new product expo featuring the inventions of IIT students.

To learn more about Small Blue Dot or to request a press pass for the event at CBS Studios on May 29th, please contact Marketing Director Kristin Hertko by phone at 312.506.0714, or by email at Kristin.Hertko(at)tfa(dot)edu.

About Tribeca Flashpoint Academy

Tribeca Flashpoint Academy (located in downtown Chicago) is a digital media arts college offering hands-on degree programs in Film & Broadcast, Recording Arts, Animation & Visual Effects, Game & Interactive Media, and Design & Visual Communication. Often described as part college, part industry apprenticeship, Tribeca Flashpoint Academy offers a progressive training model through which students begin using industry-standard equipment and software and working on real-world client projects during their very first semester on campus. They graduate with robust resumes, professional-quality portfolios and reels, and the insider industry knowhow and connections they need to step seamlessly into their careers. Learn more about Tribeca Flashpoint Academy at http://www.tfa.edu.

About Hardshell Labs

Our goal is to develop games that actually make a real-world, real-time impact on the health of the planet and its inhabitants. That will naturally lead to engaging more people in environmentalism and to the development of new and interesting tools for conservation and science. When people gain a connection to a specific place and specific creatures the wonder of the Earth and the importance of living in harmony with it will sink in deeply. We want to help forge the links between players and planet. The Earth really is an astounding playground and Hardshell Labs aims to develop the tools and the games to get people playing there. Learn more about Hardshell Labs at http://www.hardshelllabs.com.

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Kristin Hertko
Tribeca Flashpoint Academy (TFA)
+1 (312) 506-0714
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since: 03/2009
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