The world is crazy for TED. It seems even Google is flooded with headlines like “11 TED Talks to Inspire You” and “TED: Changing the World, 18 Minutes at a Time.” Saint Andrew’s has not only joined the TED movement, but students and faculty have shown tremendous leadership in all things TED.
Scots, Emily Elhilow ‘19, Lucia Martin ‘19, Jade Hodge ‘20, Christina Leonardi ‘20, and Grace Nyanchoka ‘20 are an important part of SA TED leadership as they were chosen to attend the highly selective TED-Ed conference in New York City on November 17 and 18.
These students, together with faculty chaperones, Lisa Winer and Shelly DePalmer, traveled to New York City to participate in TED-Ed Weekend events. These events are special gatherings of students from TED-Ed Clubs worldwide designed to amplify the voices of TED's younger generation.
Students who attend TED-Ed Weekend events get a chance to talk to potential mentors, learn valuable new TED talk skills, explore ideas that matter, join hands-on media and animation workshops, and form lasting friendships within the global TED student community.
Those lasting friendships and connections were top on a long list of the most valuable takeaways for junior attendee, Grace Nyanchoka. “What surprised me most was the kind of diversity that was present. I got to talk to students from India, Mexico, Columbia, and many other places. We all had something common, the TED experience, yet we were also all so different in one way or another.”
Grace, a boarding student from Kenya, also experienced a deepening of her appreciation for the value of a Saint Andrew’s education. “I felt closer to the people I traveled with. This opportunity boosted my general Saint Andrew’s experience even more,” she added.
The TED conference was also meaningful and eye-opening for senior Lucia Martin in that she took with her a newfound appreciation of TED beyond giving a ‘talk’. “I want my peers to realize that TED is a lot bigger than simply public speaking,” she said.
“Getting involved with TED has to do with making connections, sparking interests, and gaining inspiration. You don’t have to give a talk to get something out of the program,” she added.
These five Scots were impressive applicants who showed their star power even before the conference began. For starters, there were over 600 applicants and only 160 spots available. Five spots designated for SA students was an impressive showing at this conference.
And the Saint Andrew’s student attendees were leaders at the conference before they even arrived. Their team decided to participate in an optional video submission describing their motivations and perspectives about how they want to be positive change agents in the world. Little did they know before boarding the plane to NYC, that their video was one of only two selected to be shown to all in attendance at the conference.
Another way that Saint Andrew’s rose to the top of the TED experience was due to the presence of a distinguished guest speaker at the conference - former Scot Esha Alwani. “Esha was one of 13 students chosen to be a presenter at the November TED conference. She was select out of thousands of applicants based on the talk she gave here at TEDxSaintAndrewsSchool 2018,” said Lisa Winer, Upper School Math Teacher and certified TED-Ed Innovative Educator.
And speaking of Scots leadership, during the second day of workshops, Lucia was called to the red carpet in front of all participants to do a “nano” talk - a shorter version of her TED Talk entitled, "The Lightbulb Moment." During the nano-talk, she gave a brief impromptu version of her talk about perspective. Her research for the talk prompted her desire to someday be a neuroscientist.
Lisa Winer, SA’s faculty guru in TED, achieved a higher level of leadership and distinction for Saint Andrew’s School while in NYC. While students were engaged in TED workshops, she embarked on training and certification for Saint Andrew’s School’s next TEDx event.
“I am thrilled to have been offered the opportunity to be trained by TED which now allows for our next TEDx conference to open its doors to a larger audience,” she commented.
And Saint Andrew’s awaits it’s next big TED opportunity for students- this time on campus. TED has approved TEDxSaintAndrewsSchool for April 25, 2019. The theme of Saint Andrew’s TEDx event, Altering Perspectives, was chosen by last year's TED-Ed juniors and was written by Upper School English Teacher Erika Gettig.
Thanks to Ms. Winer’s hard work, Saint Andrew’s is looking forward to creating its TED stage in Roberts Theater, where participants can share, connect, learn, and appreciate - the Scots & TED way.