Okanagan students can apply for the opportunity to express their views on a topic of their choosing and reach a worldwide audience on the Internet.
The Central Okanagan School District will host a TEDx Youth forum in Kelowna on May 15 at the Innovation Centre, and organizers are asking students to submit short videos presentations on their suggested topic based on the theme of ‘Innovative Youth, Innovative Ideas.’
Jordan Kleckner, district principal of learning technology for the school district, said the inaugural Kelowna TEDx event was held last year, with more than 100 submissions made by students from across the Okanagan from which 12 were chosen to develop an up to 18-minute presentation.
“We settled on 12 just because of the time frame involved for the event,” said Kleckner. “Our youth have some powerful ideas they want to discuss and solutions and they come forward with ideas maybe not considered before as solutions to problems or just ways on how to think about things.”
Among the topics covered in last year’s TEDx event were how women can be empowered to combat climate change, how youth can become more entrepreneurial, how to tackle homelessness and improving mental health treatment policy options.
The age range of those 12 selected was from 11 to 17.
The application deadline for participation is Thursday, Jan. 31. A panel will then consider each applicant and whittle that list down to a final dozen.
Each student chosen will then be paired with a volunteer mentor, educators from the school district, UBC Okanagan and Okanagan College to develop their formal live audience presentation which will be filmed, edited and uploaded to the TEDx national website and YouTube channel.
TEDx was created by the Sapling Foundation—a private nonprofit foundation established in 1996 by publishing entrepreneur Chris Anderson in the U.S.—to foster the spread of great ideas.
Kleckner said the initiative gives a voice to youth on issues that face our community, our country and our world where that viewpoint might otherwise be ignored.
“One of my favourite moments from last year was getting to be part of the process, to watch these kids grow, to be able to stand there before an audience, with no script in front of them, speaking from memory, and share their ideas,” he said.
For more details online for how to submit an application check out the website www.TEDxYouthDoyleAve.com.