With a larger spectrum of topics, organizers are trying to appeal to a wider audience for TEDx Worthington.

The event is modeled after popular talks around the country in which an expert discusses a topic with a crowd in an engaging way.

The series sprang from a 1984 conference on technology, entertainment and design, which led to the creation of TED.

Because of the growing popularity of the talks and their connection to learning, a group of Worthington teachers came together to create the first TEDx Worthington last year. Despite nine speakers and almost 100 people in attendance, the first iteration was something of a trial run.

To allow groups like Worthington's to use the TED name, the organization created the TEDx program, which is designed to reproduce the TED-style talks in smaller settings. To earn the TEDx title, organizers need to apply for approval from the organization.

Greg Garris, an assistant principal at Thomas Worthington High School, helped organize the local version, and said that after last year's trial run "to kind of make sure we could handle it," TED's assistance has been vital.

"TED has certainly guided us," he said, "and we kind of follow their guidelines to make our event successful."

This year's event features eight different speakers who will discuss a variety of topics related to a general theme of "interference."

Speakers include representatives from industries ranging from fitness to science, and two Worthington students will perform, as well.

By broadening their reach, Garris said, the group hopes to attract more than just the education community.

"Last year, it was a group of educators planning the event, so of course we were very passionate about education," he said. "But after hearing the nine talks, we thought, 'We're limiting our appeal.' If you're not passionate about education, that might not appeal to you. By widening the net, we're saying we want to get as many great ideas out there as we can."

Tickets for the event are $25, but proceeds won't be making anyone rich. Between paying for time and space at the McConnell Arts Center and hiring WOSU Public Media to record the event, Garris said, any money raised will simply be put toward trying to make TEDx Worthington a self-sustained event.

he said an "ambitious" goal would be to sell 200 tickets, which would make the second version of the event sustainable.

But regardless of the event's success, Garris said, organizers are most concerned about making the event a learning experience that students don't find in a classroom.

"It has made a huge impact with students who have gotten involved, whether they're actually doing a talk or volunteering for the event," he said. "It's made a lasting impression on them."

TEDx Worthington runs from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 18, at the Peggy R. McConnell Arts Center, 777 Evening St. For tickets and more information, visit tedxworthington.org.