FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — Thirteen middle and high schoolers from Johns Creek and Forsyth County shared their “ideas worth growing” at Lambert High School’s annual TEDx event.
TED Talks, which stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design, is a media company that shares short lectures for free online. Speakers are given a maximum of 18 minutes but free range to talk about anything from technology and environmental science to fashion or social issues.
Lambert High has had a TEDEd club, a program that helps students hone their public speaking and storytelling skills, since 2015.
“I wanted to give them a platform to share their ideas,” said Simran Malhotra, a senior at Lambert and founder of the club. “It wouldn’t just have to be through public speaking. It could be animation, writing, poetry.”
“This club is for students who feel like they don’t have a platform at our school,” Malhotra went on to say. “High school can be a tough place for some people, and so can middle school. People are still trying to figure themselves out, and this platform really helps them find who they are.”
The club holds public speaking workshops for students at Lambert and around the area. Malhotra said 75 to 85 people audition for the club each year, but only about 20 are accepted.
“We like to look for creativity and uniqueness in their talk, something that isn’t too cliché and will actually make a difference in this world,” she said. “Then, we look at how their public speaking skills are. We’ve been working with each person for a year, so we do expect their public speaking skills to show. We’ve been teaching them how to speak and how to find their own style.”
March 22, the club held its third annual TED Talk event. Around 200 people attended, with more watching online through a livestream.
The theme was “sprout,” and speakers talked about how they grew from different life experiences.
“One person talked about Minecraft,” Malhotra said. “His story was pretty humorous. Another person talked about their medical journey and how homeopathic medicine changed the world.”
This year’s speakers from Lambert High School were Aravind Natchiappan, Jesse Tu, Lane Banta, Maria John Britto, Naheen Ali, Nikhila Alavala, Noor Khan, Ramya Gullapalli and Sripushkar Julapally.
Additional speakers were Bisan Malhotra, Riverwatch Middle School; Nicholas Roncal, Alliance Academy; Ravnoor Gujral, Taylor Road Middle School and Tarun Ramesh, Riverwatch Middle School.
“I always get very, very proud at the event,” Malhotra said. “When you see them on stage and you see the difference from when they came and auditioned.”
“These are kids who are 12 years old, some of them are 15 or 16, giving their own TED Talk,” she added. “They show to the world that you can do anything no matter who you are or how old you are, and that you can learn from people older than you and younger than you.”
To learn about upcoming TEDEd events, visit lhsteded.ga.