Reporting the news since 1914

The Blue & Gold

Reporting the news since 1914

The Blue & Gold

Reporting the news since 1914

The Blue & Gold

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Students Share Bold Ideas During TEDx

Insight and innovation were all the rage during this first-of-its-kind conference
TEDx speakers gather on the stage before presentation begins.

For the first time ever, Marist School hosted a TEDx event in Woodruff Auditorium on October 6, 2023. What is TEDx, you might ask? 

TED is a nonprofit organization dedicated to sharing revolutionary ideas to encourage connection, imagination, and innovation. Did you know that TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design?

TEDx, similar to TED, is an event that local communities can host independently, where speakers share live TED talks with their communities. “TEDxMaristSchool is one of the 3000 events held annually in more than 150 countries!” said Alessio Toniolo.

Inspired by a passionate conversation between a student and teacher, Toniolo organized the event. Believing that Marist “lacked a dedicated medium for students to share and explore their diverse interests,” Toniolo knew that TEDx would provide a way for our school community “to explore our passions and inspire one another.”

Along with Toniolo, other Marist students and faculty worked together to make the inaugural TEDxYouth@MaristSchool event a success. Lea Macauley filmed and edited the videos of the talks, which will be posted on the TEDxYouTube channel.

The event hosted five student speakers of different grade levels and interests: Taylor Gitonga, Whit Kester, Ephrata Tesfaye, Alec Issa, and Juliet Powell.

The speakers spent months developing their talks from start to finish, from creating interactive slides to writing and memorizing their scripts. Months of hard work culminated in the big event, when the speakers presented their talks in Woodruff Auditorium during the activity period.

The topics were as varied as the speaker’s interests. Tesfaye spoke about intersectionality and the feminist movement spanning across cultures and races while Issa shared his research into stress mindsets.

Kester presented his talk on the “viability of steam powered transportation in our modern world, and how steam could lead to a greener future.” Kester described the experience as “fairly casual” and commented that “the smaller audience [in Woodruff theater] was nice.”

He said that the familiar atmosphere made it “easy to talk in a fluent manner,” to share his topic in the most engaging and interesting way.

Thanks to everyone who put in the work to make the first TEDxYouth@MaristSchool event a success, the event left a dramatic and enlightening impression on our school. Hopefully, our school will continue its relationship with TEDx and host more of these inspiring and innovative events in the future.

About the Contributor
Juliet Powell
Juliet Powell, Staff Writer
Juliet joined the newspaper staff in the fall of 2023, and she is so excited to write stories for The Blue & Gold! She is a swimmer on the varsity team, French Club officer, and a member of many other clubs. When she’s not at school, Juliet can be found at the pool, on a hike, or watching Survivor with her family. Juliet loves writing short stories based on her favorite Taylor Swift songs, and she is fascinated with eco-poetry. In the future, she plans to continue writing about what she loves in high school and beyond.