It’s time for TEDx again at DHS



TEDx at DHS on Friday, February 8.

On Friday, February 8, DHS will be hosting the annual TEDx Talks, a series of informative presentations given by students, and organized by Mrs. True and Mrs. Sousa. These presentations will be held all day in the auditorium, and teachers can bring their classes down to watch.

According to world history and AP Human Geography teacher, Elizabeth True, the theme for this year’s program is “Keys to the World,” a new approach to the conference since it doesn’t line up with World Culture week in March like it has in the past. “We [teachers and students] collaboratively came up with the theme,” said Mrs. True on the theme. This is the first time the talks will span an entire school day rather than during a release time day.

This year, the topics include everything from the commercialization of art and a breakdown of the setbacks of monolingualism to polarity in politics and a break down of Generation Z. “Every year we try to find a large variety to cover as many of the departments here at DHS,” said Mrs. True.

Furthermore, students get to pick what period they present, giving a diverse grouping of presentations no matter what time of day, and a unique conference experience every year. “Listening to people speak for any length of time about their own interest and excitement is what really makes this engaging or just enjoyable to hear,” said senior Charlotte Correiro, who gave a TEDx Talk last year about her experience in a program called the Field Academy.  She spoke highly of this event, and wants to come back this year to help out in any way she can.

The TEDx program has been running for five years under the direction of Mrs. True and world language (specifically AP Spanish, Spanish 1, and Portuguese 5) teacher Hilaria Sousa. “Mrs. Sousa came up with the idea of TEDx DHS and asked if I would be interested in coordinating it with her,” Mrs. True said.

In 2014, The two teachers had taken a group of students to go see the TEDx conference that was being held in New Bedford. According to the official TED program webpage, the TED program (TED standing for Technology, Entertainment, and Design) started in 1984 as a conference to share ideas through short (but powerful) talks. Now, the program reaches all over the world, covers an endless amount of topics, and has branches to the main program, including TEDx, which allows for small independent TED style conferences in the community.

“They were very excited about the experience,” Mrs. True said. “We received such positive feedback.”  In March of 2016, the first DHS TEDx conference was held, and the tradition has continued on.

TEDx at DHS is on a volunteer, collaborative basis, so that way no one feels forced or pressured into giving a talk. The process is hard work, and students need to find and research a topic, create a slideshow presentation, a speech, and then rehearse it in their own time. Students have four scheduled practices to figure out staging, lighting, sound, and for the presenters to get comfortable on stage. It’s a tedious process, but rewarding all the same.  

“My experience was all positive, for sure,” said senior Charlotte Correiro. “I ended up feeling proud of what I made and what I had to say.”

Senior Kempton Campbell also had a positive outlook of the conference after being a presenter last year. “I had a great experience partaking in TEDx,” he said. “It was a great opportunity to spread something I’m so passionate about and it was great to listen to so many other knowledgeable people speak about other areas of interest.” Campbell will be returning to the DHS stage once again this year to give another talk, this time as a duo with junior Ryley Ustinovich, about polarity in politics.

“The goal of TEDx has been to highlight the students,” said Mrs. True. “We want to have our kids talk to their peers about topics that they are interested in and then hopefully they will in turn spark an interest in those peers.”