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TED Talks Come to BHS

Brendan W. Clark, Staff Writer

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Seafaring robots, people living on Mars, and futuristic sports in the Olympics: what do all of these topics have in common? All of these were ideas generated at TED Conferences across the world. Imagine what Barnstable High School can come up with to share in the TED conversation. Your ideas can be shared at Barnstable High School during [email protected] on Saturday, June 27, 2015.

The theme of this year’s conference is The Ripple Effect, which focuses on how even a small change can produce the ripples that make it stretch to a wider audience and serve as an impetus for further change. Speakers may be adults in the community as well as student-leaders. The speakers are welcome to discuss any ideas, solutions to problems, or thoughts that they might have on a topic. The overall goal of the event, according to BHS career counselor Erin Eastman, is “that the talks encourage students to think about how they can change the world.”

TED Talks can range from three-10 minutes. Students with an interest are encouraged to inquire with the coordinators of the event about helping to plan or to participate in the conference. The TEDx conference is being coordinated by many individuals including Eastman, Personal Development teacher Barbara Gleason, and English teacher Laura Welch. B2B is also contributing by providing a live televised screening of the event in the Performing Arts Center while the conference itself will be held in the Knight Hall.

It is anticipated that the BHS TEDx Conference will include food, gifts, t-shirts, and prizes for members of the audience, centered around the themes of TED: technology, engineering, and design. Some of the speakers scheduled so far are local author Jim Hill, local singer Alicia Mathewson and Barnstable Intermediate School teacher and author Mick Carlon.

However, student speakers are very important at the BHS TEDx Conference, as the conference is both student-run and student-organized; seniors Lily Bunyea and Grace Elletson plan to speak. The involvement of students in the planning of the project is what makes this a unique event, said Eastman. In addition to the conference itself, the students have worked on “branding,” which involved creating a logo to help promote the event.

While this organization has the “TED” prefix, it is actually a separate organization from TED as we know it, dedicated to spreading the message of TED Talks in local venues and smaller communities.

The event was conceived here at BHS after Eastman and Welch were invited by Diana Keeney, the curator of a Woods Hole TEDx Conference, to attend the [email protected] Street Conference.

With the encouragement of Keeney and staff at BHS, Eastman, Welch, and Gleason obtained funding and got the project started. Overall, the TEDx conference will provide students and educators alike the opportunity to share their ideas, thoughts, and suggestions, hopefully inspiring others to act on their ideas. All those interested in helping to plan, organize, and coordinate should see either Eastman, Gleason, or Welch right away.

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Barnstable High School's Award-Winning Student News Site
TED Talks Come to BHS