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TED events highlight kids, ideas
[February 11, 2013]

TED events highlight kids, ideas

TED, Feb 11, 2013 (The Charlotte Observer - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- the nonprofit aimed at "ideas worth spreading," focusing on technology, entertainment and design -- will highlight, and just did, kids achieving and thought-provoking programs in Charlotte.

Jan. 30, Omni Montessori School students produced the first TEDx youth event in Charlotte (the x means it's independently organized, but licensed by TED), with 10 speakers, and the theme "Shadow of Now; Light of the Future." Interactivity was prized; audience members could enter a video booth to record a response to what they heard, a computer station let them reply online, and there were "graffiti," walls, on which they could write thoughts.

Among the speakers, reports event organizer Nic Finelli, were: Christopher Mogul, a ninth-grader who mulled whether the universe is infinite (and his talk led to a roomwide discussion of wormholes during a break).

Dani Halbing, in eighth grade, who presented his self-sustaining aquaponics system, using alternative energy.

Sarah Kate Baudhuin, in seventh grade, who relayed her story of service learning, including meeting a man from Burma who had provided meals to the hungry in his own country, only to find himself, after fleeing violence there, waiting in line for food here, where Sarah Kate was working.

Want to hear more Details and photos (with videos to come) are at

Coming up This Thursday will see Charlotte's second TEDxCharlotteED (the ED is for education).

Among the speakers at the event, 1-5 p.m. at the N.C. Music Factory, will be students: Charlotte Latin's 10-member, all-female, seventh-grade engineering class. The girls are the first class in the United States to use credit-card-sized, open-source computers called Raspberry Pi, says adviser Tom Dubick. The inexpensive computers, making an educational splash in Britain, come loaded with computer programming languages. The girls are already programming (one's made a backpack with turn signals, another a security system that lets her know if her sister enters her room), and aim to learn physical and embedded computing, which includes robotics.

Other scheduled speakers include Garinger English teacher Deborah Brown, whose students are learning through a pen pal project that she says goes beyond teaching academic skills.

Co-organizer Michael Realon, career and community development coordinator at Charlotte-Mecklenburg's Olympic High, calls the event "a platform for connecting those people who are committed in helping to dramatically advance local education -- the 'change agents,' innovators and provocateurs." Interested in attending Registration is $25; Walk-ins will also be welcome, said co-chair Lexee Zutz.

___ (c)2013 The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, N.C.) Visit The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, N.C.) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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