I'm no expert in the "pitch" but I've read enough Kickstarter proposals to sort of get it.
I'm going to try and have students apply this idea to solving their own problems. Today is "What's Your Problem?", drawing on inspirational case studies we've read about students developing clever ways to catch bedbugs, build Braille printers and develop sandless sandbags. All by students about their same age.
Today they're bringing "a problem" that needs solving from their life. They'll work with their lab team partners to develop a "pitch" and then we'll pick the best to work on. I'm sort of flying blind because I don't know where this is going, but I believe (based on how enthusaistic the class conversation was about the idea) it will develop student engagement.
I'm hoping this kind of approach will carry over to the Engineering Design Challenges I'm going to give them. Those will be more curricularly connected.