This report provided by Shania Wang, grade 10, DECA marketing associate.
TEDxHarkerSchool held its sixth annual event on Oct. 15. With over 200 attendees, the conference featured amazing speakers, interactive booths and inspiring mentors.
“TEDx was a very innovative and inspiring event, and I was really excited to hear some of the of the speakers,” said attendee Enya Lu, grade 10. “I really learned a lot about all of the speakers’ topics and enjoyed getting to see many innovative products from the booths.”
A total of seven speakers presented their talks at the conference throughout the day, sharing their ideas with the community.
One speaker was Stanford economics professor Raj Chetty, whose talk was titled “Improving Equality of Opportunity in America: New Lessons from Big Data.”
“It was an interesting opportunity to have an influence on talented young kids,” Chetty said. “I hope my talk showed them how you can use modern technology to tackle social problems and not just the private sector of problems that people usually focus on.”
Other speakers included piano prodigy Umi Garrett, UCSC professor Katherine Isbister, civil rights lawyer Shahid Buttar and artificial intelligence researcher and author Prateek Joshi. Aside from professional speakers, TEDxHarkerSchool also featured two student speakers, seniors Alexander Lam and Sarisha Kurup.
“I applied to be a student speaker because I was really passionate about sharing my experiences and my journey throughout high school, which is what I’m talking about,” said Lam, who presented about the pursuit of happiness and how ancient philosophy can influence modern thought. “My favorite part about speaking at TEDx was the ability to directly address the Harker community and share ideas that I felt are very important and valuable to me.”
In the morning, the Nichols Hall atrium also buzzed with students learning more about the corporate booths present: Alchema, VEX Robotics, XROUND, MOTA, PocketChef, Made In Space, HS Mixers and Puzzlebox. The startup Magnetic also supplied magnetic paper, allowing students to finish the prompt “TEDx Makes Me …”
“TEDx was a really good way to outreach since our product is really beneficial for students, and it provided us with great opportunity to maximize our interactions with the target market,” said Kedar Gupta, grade 12, co-founder of PocketChef.
The event then moved to the gym for lunch, where conversation filled the air as students interacted with mentors from a variety of fields who shared their personal insights and industry experience to engage and enlighten attendees.
“There’s a youthful energy here, so it was nice to see people that are in high school that had a curiosity and desire to grow and learn different things,” said mentor James Goheen, senior risk specialist for the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and father to senior Jordan Goheen. “I talked to them about my career and shared with them briefly about the federal reserve system in general and more specifically about what I do there. I also got asked for some life advice, so I gave some insight on how important it is to be able to get along with others and write well.”
“I think the event went very well, and I was really excited to see so many students check out all that TEDx had to offer this year!” said curator Aditya Dhar, grade 12. “I think TEDx creates a fantastic environment directed towards spreading innovation in all areas, from art and entertainment to science and business, and that really parallels Harker’s spirit of ingenuity that drives so many of the wonderful programs around campus. “
TEDxHarkerSchool is an innovative youth-only conference that aims to spread cutting-edge ideas throughout our community and reach out to embrace the culture of Silicon Valley. We provide guidance for some of the brightest minds of the new generation – the future of what TED stands for: technology, entertainment and design. Through the help of corporate booths, speakers, and mentors, TEDxHarkerSchool supplies the unique toolkit that enables our audience to imagine, innovate and inspire. Our overall goal is to bring students to greater intellectual heights and lead students to wisdom, revolution, innovation and passion. TEDxHarkerSchool fully believes that young people will make positive change in the world.