TED-Ed club gives to Metea student passions
Students are required to give presentations in class and there's already a speech team, but a new club focused on public speaking at Metea Valley High School proved popular because of its affiliation with a well-known brand.
The TED-Ed Club at the school in Aurora gave about 20 members the chance to brainstorm, research, practice and deliver a TED-style talk following guidance from the official TED organization, which produces conferences where speakers give talks on "ideas worth spreading."
Incoming Metea seniors Kishor Moorthy, Vinay Agarwal and Shreya Joshi started the club at the beginning of their junior year. Members followed a 13-week program from the TED organization to choose their topic, come up with visuals, then deliver the talk during a live, one-take recording.
"It's a really good way to let students share their voice and share what they're passionate about," Kishor said.
TED talks are already a common part of high school education, Kishor said, with health teachers showing talks about new ways to identify cancer and English teachers showing deep-dive speeches about the type of language used in the average TED talk.
"I'm always fascinated by how TED talks show really revolutionary ideas," Kishor said. "It's always something that at the end I walk away with this brand-new understanding of something that I didn't even think was interesting before."
Students chose their own topics to fit this mold and came up with talks on losing weight, tackling procrastination, growing up as a "third-culture kid" and fitting in while staying true to personal and cultural identity.
Other talks students produced during the club's first year had titles including "4 Life Lessons Everyone Can Learn From Shelter Dogs" and "I'm Fashionable And You Can Be Too."
Kishor called his TED-Ed talk, "Is There More To Magic Than Meets The Eye?" In it, he discusses how his love of performing magic has helped him connect with others and trust that there's always a trick to be found to solve even the most perplexing problem.
The group became the first TED-Ed group among the three high schools in Indian Prairie Unit District 204. Kishor and his peers plan to bring it back next year, increasing the time students will practice their speech delivery and continuing to promote student content on social media.