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TEDxNorthCreek - Worlds Beyond

  • Written by David B. Clark

North Creek High School (3613 191st Pl SE, Bothell, WA 98012) was proud to host their second annual TEDx event on Wednesday, June 6. While many are familiar with TED talks: the powerful, moving, and often progressive lecture-style presentations that most find via YouTube, TEDx events were established on a local and community level utilizing TED’s slogan of “ideas worth spreading.” These events are conducted by volunteers and are centered on the communities that host them. Several of North Creek High’s Jaguars took the stage among students from Inglemoor High School and even a student from the University of Washington to share their varying perspectives on the event’s theme, Worlds Beyond.

The theme of Worlds Beyond focuses on encouraging creativity coupled with curiosity while navigating traditional borders of knowledge. Upon arriving at North Creek High’s commons, attendees were greeted with an energy of hope and excitement. The moment moderator and host Deepthi Chandra began the evening’s introductions it was clear that the Northshore School District is brimming with creative and intelligent students.

Talks were given by students Amrutha Gujjar, Vrishab Sathish, Olivia Omen, Beatrice Duchastel, and Haze Lee. A musical performance by Kayla Yagi-Bacon acted as a lovely intermission halfway through the program.

“The entire world is connected,” began Computer Science student of the University of Washington, Gujjar, the first speaker of the evening. Gujjar’s talk focused on social media applications like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram but dove deeper into the core, explaining how many of applications operate. “The internet is like a giant neighborhood,” explained Gujjar. She continued her simile to show how the internet is often viewed as an abstract thing yet it is really ran by data centers that can use as much energy as small towns. Gujjar concluded by saying, “Technical infrastructure enables us to reach a world beyond.”  

Sathish, a Researcher at North Creek High School, began his impassioned presentation by stating, “The most important issue we face is public health.” Sathish explained how two-million teens face hypertension, or high blood pressure. “Stress doesn’t cause this… lifestyle choices cause this,” explained Sathish. He focused his talk about how teens can change the way they live their everyday lives to be more mindful about their health.

Inglemoor High School student and nationally recognized artist Omen likes to use art as a catalyst of change. Throughout her talk, the young artist showed some of her award-winning art. She explained how Instagram has three times the number of users as the United States and how public art is now prompting people to make big social and political changes. She continued when she referenced Shepard Fairy, the mastermind street artist who has recently released his series of protest posters titled, We The People, which feature people of color. Omen closed by saying, “Art can and has been used to raise awareness to the issues around them.”

Duchastel is a social advocate and student at Inglemoor High School who volunteers at the Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP) in Seattle every Saturday. Duchastel’s love for museums burst through with her enthusiasm as she educated the attendees with the importance of artifacts and accessibility to historical events. “Museums make the inaccessible appear right before your eyes!” exclaimed Duchastel. She used her zeal and curiosity to compel the audience to find new meaning in the ways to look at the history of the world.

Lee, a Content Creator and student at North Creek High School, spoke on how she was struggling internally despite accomplishing and excelling in school. “The more I focused on school the more I learned less as a person,” said Lee. This prompted her to work just as hard but under the new lenses of interaction, permanence, and transcendence. “I decided to work for love,” said Lee. She then utilized her skills as a filmmaker to produce digital and cinematic work like her documentary series, Overcoming Disillusionment. This forthcoming three-part series has already focused on socialism in Vietnam. Lee plans to travel to Cuba and North Korea for the final two parts. “Maybe with my content I can make this world a more compassionate place,” finished Lee.

It takes time and energy to produce events that open people’s minds to new ideas. The hardworking volunteers and students at North Creek High School have cemented their position as a driving force for a progressive, collective, and passionate Northshore School District and, subsequently, future for us all.

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