Hilton Schools hold first TEDx Conference to celebrate Public Schools Week

By on April 8, 2019

REACH (gifted and talented) students in Melanie Klock’s class at Northwood Elementary School and Andrea Geglia’s class at Quest Elementary School wowed the audience on March 27 with their TED Talks.

Amara Murphy, a sixth grader at Northwood Elementary School, did her TED Talk on “Building Self Confidence.”

Amara Murphy, a sixth grader at Northwood Elementary School, did her TED Talk on “Building Self Confidence.”

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,” explained Klock. “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 your 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” and many more, some touching on deeply personal challenges that the students have faced and overcome.

The TEDx (the x indicates an independently organized TED event) Hilton Conference was held during Public Schools Week, March 25 through 29. Hosted by Learning First Alliance, the second annual Public Schools Week encourages school leaders to invite community members, lawmakers, parents and others to visit and see the great things 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 firsthand the students’ impressive confidence, delivery and messages. Causewave partners with ACT (A Community Together) for Education, an initiative by area public schools, businesses and community members that delivers positive messaging about our local school districts and encourages community support of public education.

Provided information and photos

Jack Rawleigh, a sixth grader at Northwood Elementary School, delivers his TED Talk titled “Being Open-Minded: Your Mind’s Superpower.”

Jack Rawleigh, a sixth grader at Northwood Elementary School, delivers his TED Talk titled “Being Open-Minded: Your Mind’s Superpower.”