Wells Middle School Students Showcase Photographs at TEDx Event

Michael Utsumi, Funding & Programs Coordinator
March 12, 2019
TEDx Rob Bennett

Artwork from long-time DPIE supporter, Rob Bennett.

For some, rain represents gloominess or a sense of restriction from going outside. However, in other cultures, rain is the life blood of everything thing. It can also be viewed as a symbol of time, season and a new beginning. So, it should not be surprising that a few raindrops would deter a hearty and inquisitive group of folks from spending a few hours at the Dublin Shannon Community Center. Their mission was to attend the TEDx Emerald Glen Park event that the Dublin Partners in Education co-sponsored.

TED is an international platform where topics from science to business to global issues are discussed. From its infancy, β€œTED” stood for technology, entertainment and design. Thanks to the internet, it has become an online phenomenon that features talks in over 100 languages. As a subset, independently run TEDx events help to inform in local communities.

One of the unique features of TED is that regardless of topic, the speaker is tasked with being compelling and concise. The talks are limited to 18 minutes or less. Over the course of three hours, six presenters spoke about their passions with the underlying question: What If? The topics ranged from how radically the world could change if 3D printing were readily available in any environment to what if society not only recognized the importance or elder care, but also made it part of our cultural value set?

It was a fascinating afternoon that opened the mind to many concepts. In addition, the event was bisected by a half an hour break. During this time, the attendees were treated to some local flavor. The circumference of the hall was graced with various pieces presented by the Dublin Arts Collective. A prominent element of this display featured photography work from students that attend Wells Middle School. Photography teacher Karey Ronnow hung a selection of works from her 6th – 8th grade students on wire racks. This display was an opportunity for DPIE to fortify its support of Arts Education.

TEDx WMS Photography

Photography by Wells Middle School 7th and 8th Graders, proudly displayed by Photography Instructor, Karey Ronnow.

At the opposite end of the hall, select members from the Dublin High School InvenTeam was on hand to answer questions about their latest project. As part of a competition based at MIT, InvenTeam was been refining v2.0 of their SpORT – which stands for Special Olympics Robotic Thrower. This device was designed and built so that an individual of any capability could shoot a basketball into a hoop. The Thrower has been successfully utilized at Tri-Valley Special Olympics events.

TEDx InvenTeam

Members of the Dublin High School InvenTeam who were on hand to answer questions and showcase v2.0 of SpORT.

It was an afternoon for the mind and the spirit. By 5:00 PM the rain had stopped. But it was a reminder that we are all part of nature. And nature demands that we continue to ask: What If?