New Albany News

High school students organize their own TED conference

By

Forty New Albany High School students are inviting people to a student-organized TEDx program April 10 at the high school mini theater.

Junior Charlie Nelson, a member of the TEDxYouthNAHS club, said he found about about TEDx on the Internet.

TED, which stands for technology, engineering and development, is a nonprofit organization that was started nearly 30 years ago at a conference in California, according to the club's website. The x typically refers to an independently organized event.

"They have speakers talk about how they can change the world," Nelson said.

TED presentations typically have themes, said freshman Steven Kish, and New Albany High School's April 10 theme is "Expectations, Fear, Action."

Junior Susanna Kyler, a member of TEDxYouthNAHS and part of the club's speakers committee, said all six speakers April 10 will use that theme.

Kyler said TEDx supports something she strongly believes in -- that anyone, no matter what age, can change the world if he or she can get others to hear their message.

She said TEDx is helping people with "new ideas or a twist on familiar ideas" in front of a large audience. Scholars can have the greatest ideas in the world but if they can't communicate them, the ideas will never be implemented, she said.

All the speakers lined up for April 10 have some tie to the New Albany-Plain Local School District, Kyler said. The list includes:

* Senior Ama Koranteng, who will speak about technology

* Sophomores Parker Edman and Nikhil Malakalapalli, speaking about "unusual" ways to support the community

* English teacher Ben Arthurs, whose topic has not been announced

* School custodian Shawn Hurst, who will talk about how students treat others

* Senior Kenia Viezcas, who will talk about social issues

* A seventh person whose name has not been announced, who will speak about a social epidemic that is happening in central Ohio, Kyler said.

Kyler said the 2.5-hour program also will include a performance by band teacher Luke Furniss and two TEDTalk videos.

"It's not every day that students get to hear from articulate, disciplined, prepared adults on a stage they otherwise don't have in this community," said English teacher John Kuijper, who serves as one of the New Albany club's advisers.

Kuijper said the club was founded in January and the students formed three committees. One solicited speakers, another is marketing the event and the third is handling logistics.

He said the students have done a lot of work, editing the speakers' presentations; creating their own website, napls.us/tedx; setting up social media campaigns and advertising in the school; and trying to promote the event.

Kyler said 100 people can be seated at the high school's mini theater. As of last week, organziers had received reservations from 10 community members and 25 students. People can reserve a seat at napls.us/tedx.

Kish said the club is working with high school Principal Mark White to use his discretionary fund and make admission to the event free.

Kuijper said there is a licensing fee the district must pay to use the TED logo as part of the presentation.

The club members have high hopes for their first event and for their club's future.

Kyler said the club is growing and Kish said members would like to host a second event at the Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts that could be streamed live into every New Albany classroom.

Kuijper said the students could form a network and partner with other schools to increase participation.

Kish also referred to the district's official vision of becoming a leader in education.

"This takes us one step closer," he said.

Comments