High school students at Laguna Blanca present 18 speakers
High school students at Laguna Blanca hosted 18 speakers Wednesday during a TEDx talk event that dived “Beneath the Surface,” the theme for the private Santa Barbara school’s 16 talks. (A ceramics session had three speakers.)
Students in charge of the event said the program was about the students challenging themselves to go “beneath the surface” of emotion, thought and understanding. The theme was embodied by the event’s logo: an iceberg.
Popular speakers at TEDx talk included student Molly Morouse, who spoke on how she overcame her stuttering and how everyone has their own version of a stutter to overcome. Also popular with the audience was Maura Jaye, who performed two songs from her EP, which will be released in the upcoming months, and discussed different levels of music and music creation.
Her talk was titled, ““Music Creation: Are We Really Listening?”
And the audience enjoyed a performance by magician Danny Ray.
In addition, Tavis Boise of the nonprofit Friendship Paddle gave a talk entitled “Kids Helping Kids: Building Community on the Water.”
Wednesday’s TEDx event was the culmination of students’ work in a TEDx elective class that Laguna Blanca has offered its high school students since 2018.
“I think what makes this elective incredible and unique is that everything you are doing transfers to real world skills, that you are building and learning as you go. I know I’m going to be using these skills and experience as I go into college and find a job,” Frances Carlson, one of the event’s co-executive producers, told the News-Press.
The other co-executive producers are fellow seniors Sofia Anderson and Catie Fristoe.
While this year’s event was held in person, there were modifications because of COVID-19. Instead of 100 in-person tickets being sold to the community, a livestream option was provided.
The TEDx elective is structured in two parts with the first semester culminating with the event itself. The second semester is independent study.
The TEDx talk wasn’t held in 2021 because of the pandemic, so the entire school year consisted of independent study.
“During COVID-19, students participated in independent studies consisting of weekly lunch discussions on how to move forward during covid times, as well as how to build and make the program better,” Sofia told the News-Press.
This year, she said she’s grateful to have learned skills gained during the TEDx class and “to be able to work with our faculty leads and work alongside our peers to create this event. As well as to see the impact of each event on the students.”
Frances shares Sofia’s passion for the TEDx program.
“We bring all these speakers together for one day and then spread these ideas as much as we can,” Frances said.
“That kind of positive change is what we are looking to get and what we want to inspire in other people.”