Palo Alto High School’s annual student-run Technology, Entertainment and Design (TEDx)seminar will take place on March 20 in the Haymarket Theater, with talks centering around the theme: “Uncharted Waters.” The conference, which is organized by the Paly lunchtime TEDx club, is an independent spin-off of the popular TED talk series that aims to spread innovative ideas around the world through 10-minute speeches.
Last year, the club decided to hold the conference on a weekend in hopes that more community members would attend its event. However, the change ultimately hurt the club’s student attendance, though an increased number of adults attended the seminar. This year, in order to reach out to its target audience — Paly students — the club has decided to hold the events on a normal school day.
“Our goal is to get many students to attend the talks because it is the ideas of their peers being talked about,” said junior Gabrielle Bernas, the club’s marketing head. ”By holding it on a Monday this year, we believe that we can get a better student turnout.”
According to junior Adeline Zhou, Paly’s TEDx has given her the means to spread her ideas to her peers.
“The reason that public speaking is appealing to me is because it allows me to express myself and share my thoughts with other people in my community that I may not share in regular conversation,” Zhou said.
During the day, five teachers have elected to take their students to the talks, which feature one student speaker and one adult speaker every period except for first and seventh periods.
“While it may be harder for students to go to all of the speakers, we hope that more students can come because it is very accessible for them,” Bernas said.
The lineup of speakers will include five student speakers: sophomores Ashutosh Brown and Annie Tsui, juniors Adeline Zhou and Nicholas Blonstein and senior Belle Doughman. They will discuss the topics of consumerism, collective intelligence, the importance of asking questions, the role of sleep in students and happiness, respectively. In addition to the five students, there will be six adult speakers — Stanford student Kylie Jue, professor Jennifer Dionne, teachers Eric Bloom and Erin Angell, Stanford University Assistant Director of the Medicine & the Muse program at Stanford Jacqueline Genovese and computer science lecturer Christopher Gregg.
Furthermore, the event should be a good learning experience for anyone that attends.
“TEDx will give you a new perspective and I hope you’ll be pleasantly surprised with what you’ve learned,” Zhou said. “Please come and listen to speeches about ideas that are definitely worth spreading!”