REACH students in Melanie Klock’s class at Northwood Elementary School and Andrea Geglia’s class at Quest Elementary School recently wowed the audience with their TED talks.
A TED Talk begins with an idea. Its purpose may be to inform the audience, offer a new perspective and/or motivate people to action. TED talks often include a personal experience and/or research that supports the idea given.
“Our recent REACH unit challenged students to think deeply about their own passions, interests, opinions and beliefs, and find ways to articulate their thoughts through a series of writing tasks,” Klock said. “As a culminating activity, the students developed a TED Talk that reveals an idea that they are passionate about.”
Students individually went up on stage in the Hilton High School Auditorium and delivered their TED talks, many without the use of any notes, before a large audience of students, parents, staff and community members.
Forty-three students in all, mainly sixth graders but also some younger students, presented during the first Hilton TEDx Conference. Naomi Rosario, an intermediate student at Quest, spoke about how to be responsible with trash.
“Rubber and plastic have a great many uses in many of our lives, from the tires of the bus that brings us to school to the soles of the shoes we’re wearing right now, plus it’s probably also in the seat that you sit on in your classrooms and offices,” she said. “We just need to be more responsible when using these materials and what we do with them when we no longer need them.”
Others topics included “The Dangers of Kids and Social Media,” The Power of a Growth Mindset on Your Goals,” What You Can Learn from a PB and J Sandwich,” “Five Steps to Positivity.” Some touched on challenges the students have faced and overcome.
The TEDx — x meaning an independently organized TED event — Conference was held during Public Schools Week. Hosted by Learning First Alliance, this week encourages school leaders to invite community members, lawmakers, parents and others to visit and see what’s happening every day in public schools and show the potential for greater things.
Locally, Elizabeth Murray, program manager for Causewave Community Partners, attended the Hilton TEDx Conference to see the students’ confidence, delivery and messages. Causewave partners with A Community Together for Education, an initiative by area public schools, businesses and community members that delivers positive messaging about local school districts and encourages community support of public education.