Last year, the Club organized the Lycée’s second-ever TEDxYouth conference. Students and outside speakers were invited to present talks on the theme of “A Drop in the Ocean”:
among others, there was a star soccer player, a ballerina, a future engineer and a molecular biologist. It was thrilling to watch months’ worth of work come to life as professionals and students alike stepped into the spotlight to share “Ideas worth spreading.”
The experience was particularly enriching for the student speakers. As adolescents, it is not often that we are given a chance to talk about what matters to us, to make our ideas heard.
As we brainstormed, we realized how much there was we wanted to talk about and yet how difficult it was to put our ideas into words and to shape them into a clear, well-defined message. Writing a talk is a process that takes more time than you might think. The topic must be original, personal, but must also resonate with people of all backgrounds. A student may not have produced groundbreaking theorems or discovered a life-changing drug, but smaller things, a different take on everyday issues, can be just as powerful subjects to discuss.
The most exhilarating part of the process, nonetheless, was stepping onto the stage. Ideas become much more powerful when uttered in the spotlight, with people watching.
Throughout the evening, the auditorium’s wings were filled with mumbling, lines repeated again and again in an attempt to ward off stage fright. Once students stepped out into the light, however, stage fright became the least of their concerns. Their goal was to spread ideas, to share their outlook on life, their pursuit of dreams, their call to action.
These students inspired others. The TED-Ed Club has grown remarkably, with countless students wanting to make their own voice heard. Many already have strong ideas, and the conference is already taking shape.
This year, the conference’s theme is “Taking Flight.” It is about reaching new heights, achieving one’s potential, pulling ourselves and others towards better things. On March 21, students and outside speakers will do just that on the Lycée’s stage. We hope you will be able to join us for the third TEDxYouth @ LFNY!