Tag Archives: TEDTalk

Scenes from Sunday’s @MakerFaire:

wings and wheels

I loved going to the Maker Faire last year, and this year I organized a group of teachers to attend on Sunday, September 30th. As per their website, the Maker Faire is “a two-day, family-friendly festival of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker movement.” There are two big ones in the US (San Mateo and New York), and many mini Maker Faires taking place all over the world.

My niece and nephew and I were intrigued by the following sights:

1. Little Bits (@littleBits) are “a set of simple, interchangeable blocks that make programming as simple and important a part of creativity as snapping blocks together.” The founder, Ayah Bdeir, is a TED Fellow! (Her video on TED.com is here: http://www.ted.com/talks/view/lang/en//id/1404)
Little Bits

2. EepyBird.com‘s drenching display of what happens when Mentos and Coke Zero collide:

3. GUS 14, the basketball-playing robot, created by GUS Robotics Team 228:
basketball bot

4. The simplicity of this giant Scrabble game made from repurposed CD jewel cases:
CD case scrabble

4. The giant mechanical Thumby Wars was created by a team of identical twins, Mike and Pat Murray, from Scottsdale, Arizona:
thumb war

5. Lots of 3D printers including the the Afinia H-Series 3D Printer for $1499 which comes ready-built out of the box and has a a moving tray and a moving extruder and the Rostock Max Delta 3D Printer Kit for $849 at SeeMeCNC.com:
Rostock Max

6. Hoodies with hand-warming mittens by Toasty Time:
mitten pockets

7. The En-V electric car from General Motors:

8. The Lifesize Mouse trap created by Mark Perez:
mouse trap

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Uploaded all the @TEDxYTheSchool videos to the TEDxYouth YouTube channel..


Scroll through the videos from the YouTube playlist above or click below to watch individual videos from our speakers at TEDxYouth@TheSchool on 11/19/11. All the speaker bios are on the website.

Don Buckley
Charles Wilson
Lucas Ward
Dickson Despommier
Shannon Durugordon and Kate Scheuermann
Charles Colten
Monica Louie
Mauricio Salgado
Sharon Unis
Ben Hirschfeld

Thank you to all who presented, attended, sponsored and organized this second annual TEDxYouth@TheSchool!

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Getting ready for TEDxYouth@TheSchool this Saturday! Follow @TEDxYTheSchool for info


(I’m retreaching myself InDesign in order to edit this year’s brochure for TEDxYouth@TheSchool…)

TEDxYouth@TheSchool is Nov 19th, 2001 (this Saturday)! A group of faculty members and I gathered speakers that I hope will inspire and empower our attendees (middle schoolers, siblings, parents, teachers, guests). There are over 100 events happening worldwide this weekend as part of TEDxYouthDay coinciding with Universal Children’s Day

Our website: http://tedxyouth.theschool.columbia.edu
Our Twitter: http://twitter.com/TEDxYTheSchool
Our Facebook: http://facebook.com/TEDxYouthTheSchool

Our speakers are listed below and their talks will be live-streamed and viewable from the TEDxYouth@TheSchool website:

Ben Hirschfeld
The Lit! Solar Lantern Project

Ben Hirschfeld founded the Lit! Solar Lantern Project as a high school freshman in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York. Lit! provides solar lanterns to students without electricity in the developing world, replacing their kerosene lamps. Kerosene smoke contributes to diseases like asthma, pneumonia, and even lung cancer, and contains carbon dioxide that leads to global warming. Lit!’s research shows that children receiving lanterns are better prepared for school, while their families can buy much-needed food now with the money formally used to buy kerosene. By providing solar lanterns, Lit! is preventing global warming at the same time as helping children gain literacy, better nutrition, and better health. Ben is passionate about the Lit! Project, flannel, and the outdoors.

Charles Colten
Aikido in the Schools

Charles Colten is the founder and chief instructor of Aikido in the Schools, which is dedicated to bringing the benefits of Aikido into public and private schools. After decades of practicing Aikido and working as a classroom teacher, he brought these two streams together, and has been sharing Aikido in schools for the past four years. Charles began his Aikido training in 1986, currently teaches Aikido to adults and children in New York City, gives seminars around the USA and has also taught/practiced in Asia, Europe and Latin America. He earned a Masters Degree in Organizational/Educational Leadership at Columbia University Teacher’s College and sits on the Board of Aikiextensions, an international organization dedicated to applying Aikido principles in business, law, mediation, health-care, arts, education, play therapy, and international development. Charles is passionate about learning, play, Aikido, and the “places” where they all happen together.

Charles Wilson
co-author of Chew On This

Charles Wilson is the co-author, with Eric Schlosser, of the #1 New York Times bestselling children’s book, Chew On This: Everything You Don’t Want to Know About Fast Food. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Economist. He is the collaborator with the Milwaukee urban farmer Will Allen on The Good Food Revolution: Growing Healthy Food, People and Communities, a book to be published by Gotham/Penguin next May. Charles is passionate about reading, his friends and family, and long-distance running.

Dr. Dickson Despommier
Vertical Farm

Dr. Dickson Despommier was born in New Orleans in 1940, and grew up in California before moving to the New York area. He earned his Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of Notre Dame and conducted laboratory-based biomedical research with NIH-sponsored support at Columbia University for 27 years. An Emeritus Professor, Dickson has always been interested in the environment and the damage we have caused by the simple act of encroachment. At present, he is engaged in a project to produce significant amounts of food crops in tall buildings situated in densely populated urban centers.  There are now five vertical farms up and running: Korea, Japan, Holland and two in the U.S.A. Dickson has received numerous teaching awards and has lectured on the subject of vertical farming to engineers, professors, and government agencies all over the world. He has given a TED talk, and three TEDx talks (Washington, D.C., Chicago, and Bermuda). Dickson is passionate about fly fishing, teaching, and photography.

Don Buckley
The School at Columbia University

Don Buckley has transformed learning spaces so they work for teachers and students and not just architects, he has transformed textbooks so that they work for students and teachers and not just publishers, and he has transformed new media resources so that they work for students and teachers and not just programmers. He has advanced degrees from leading European universities, is a former industrial chemist, published photographer and consultant to MOMA. As well as teaching a graduate course at Columbia Teacher’s College in Educational Technology and directing the Communications Technology program at The School, he is an author for Pearson’s Interactive Science Program (a K-8 Science series for 21st century schools). Don is passionate about Travel, Architecture, Design, Change, The Future, and Innovation. He is a scientist, technologist, educator, author, traveler, futurist, innovator, and dual citizen of Ireland and the United States. Don is passionate about architecture, travel, and design.

Lucas Ward
8th Grader

Lucas Ward is an 8th grader at The School at Columbia University. He writes music as well as recording and producing his own songs and music videos. He created the music group Ninjaz Entertainment, which already has three songs on its YouTube channel, but more are coming. He enjoys using Flash to draw, design graphics, and animate. He also draws freehand and especially likes to draw cartoons. He hopes you enjoy his presentation. Lucas is passionate about music, drawing/cartoons, and animation.

Mauricio Salgado
Artists Striving To End Poverty

As the Director of Domestic Programming for Artists Striving To End Poverty, Mauricio Salgado handles volunteer recruitment, training and coordination, program management, and curriculum. Originally from Miami, Florida, Mauricio graduated with a BFA from The Juilliard School of Performing Arts. Mauricio has been invited by organizations around the world (the Dominican Republic, South Africa, Peru and India) to teach the ASTEP methodology of using the arts as a catalyst for mentorship and education. In 2005 and 2006, Mauricio was hired as a teaching artist for Dreamyard to work with New York City public school children. He currently teaches annual Social Justice through the Arts workshops at Santa Clara and Juilliard Universities. In March of 2009 Mauricio was presented with the prestigious Martin E. Segal Award in recognition of his outstanding work with ASTEP. Mauricio is passionate about story-telling, compassionate service, and his wife.

Monica Louie
Engineers Without Borders

Monica has been volunteering with Engineers Without Borders NY Chapter (EWB) for 3 years. EWB is a non-profit humanitarian organization that provides engineering services to developing communities. Monica’s involvement brought her to Cambodia with the design and construction of a dam that provides water for irrigation to 9000 residents, and Kenya, for a clean water distribution system. She has actively been involved in promoting the organization’s vision and mission as a member of the executive board. The recently formed EWBNY-Education Committee promotes engineering and global development to students K-12 in NYC. Monica is passionate about international development, travel, and food.

Namgyal Wangchuk Trichen Lhagyari
High School Junior

Born and raised as a Tibetan exile in India, Trichen is currently at boarding school in the United States. Last year, he made his first documentary film about his life as the descendant of the Great Kings of Tibet and the struggle of the Tibetan people in exile. His film, My Country is Tibet, was made through BYkids and has screened to critical acclaim at film festivals around the world. The film will be distributed by Discovery Education to half the schools in America. The Dalai Lama has recommended he go to college in the United States, so Trichen is passionate about studying, teaching people about Tibet, and rowing.

A cappella group from Columbia University

Nonsequitur is an a cappella (without music) group from Columbia University. Founded in 2000 by five Columbia students, the group was originally formed as an all-male group specializing in alternative rock. Nonseq (as it’s popularly known) quickly grew to include all genders and genres, eventually becoming Columbia’s hippest group. Students come together to combine awesome vocal harmonies and killer choreography. Over the last eleven years, they have toured Canada and the East Coast, and performed with renowned a cappella groups from across the country, and in 2009, took first place in the quarterfinal round for the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella. Nonsequitur has also enjoyed great success off the stage. In 2007, they won the Columbia Organizational Achievement Leadership Promise Award for being the student organization with the best potential for positive impact on Columbia’s campus.

Sharon Unis
Pop-Up Adventure Play

Sharon Unis co-founded Pop-Up Adventure Play and serves as the Managing Director of Business Development. Pop-Up Adventure Play is a US/UK social enterprise advocating for children’s hands-on and self-directed play within communities of supportive adults. Working internationally to catalyze free play opportunities, her team operates both globally and regionally, promoting low-cost, place-specific solutions for optimizing community organizing on behalf of children’s play. Sharon’s other recent experience includes work with the New York Coalition for Play, the Children’s Garden at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and the NYU Child Study Center. She earned a BA in Economics and Environmental Science from Barnard College at Columbia University. Sharon is passionate about children/youth, nature, and playing/laughing.

Shannon Durugurdon, Kate Scheuermann
8th Graders
Shannon and Kate are part of a group of 8th graders at The School at Columbia University participating in JR’s InsideOut Project as an Art elective. They will explain the project and their inspiration. They are both scholar-athletes and integral members of The School’s community. Shannon is passionate about sports, acting, and taking care of others. Kate is passionate about lacrosse, training wild mustangs, and skiing.

Conrad Milhaupt, co-host
8th Grader

Conrad is an eighth grader at The School at Columbia University, and is currently the President of the Student Government. As President this year, he hopes to empower the students of The School and prove that students of all ages can make a difference in their communities. He is an athlete, learner, and devoted community service volunteer. He is looking forward to co-hosting the incredible TEDxYouth@TheSchool event this year. Conrad is passionate about baseball, math, and smiling.

Brandon Bell, co-host
8th Grader

Brandon is an 8th grader at The School at Columbia University, and is Vice President of the Student Government. One of Brandon’s campaign promises was to work on the need for additional community service projects in his school so that kids can make a difference by helping those in need. He is looking forward to co-hosting TEDxYouth@theSchool. Brandon is passionate about swimming, running, and reading.

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Working with 8th graders in Art to participate in JR’s #InsideOut Project!

Last week, 8th graders chose an elective for their upcoming multi-week unit in Art (starting tomorrow). The four art teachers will each lead a different project for the next 10 classes, and the offered choices were a modified Tools At Schools project, reimagining/repurposing a book, transformational sculptures, and the InsideOut project. Out of the pool of 42 or so 8th graders at The School, 10 chose to work with me and Yoshiko Maruiwaand be a part of InsideOut!

InsideOut was conceived by this year’s TED prize winner, JR. As per his bio on TED.com, JR, a semi-anonymous French street artist, uses his camera to show the world its true face, by pasting photos of the human face across massive canvases. At TED2011, he makes his audacious TED Prize wish: to use art to turn the world inside out.”

JR took his prize monies and is using it to print large-scale posters of images sent in from all over the world. The guidelines are short, sweet, simple and listed on InsideOut’s website:

INSIDE OUT is a large-scale participatory art project that transforms messages of personal identity into pieces of artistic work. Upload a portrait. Receive a poster. Paste it for the world to see.

Yoshiko and I are excited to have conversations with the kids about JR’s global art projects, social justice through Art, Art History, public versus private space, legal and illegal installations, community, representations of self, political ramifications, and so much more. Also, I’m working to organize a second annual TEDxYouth@TheSchool on November 19th, and it would be great to have the 8th graders talk about this project to the audience.

Now to locate legal and public wall space to hang their posters…


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