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On Sunday, Nov. 24th at Canyon Crest Academy (CCA), TEDxYouth@SanDiego hosted more than 400 students from 40 high schools and youth programs throughout San Diego County for its third annual event, UNLIMITED. Students heard from and engaged with more than 25 speakers who shared their big ideas in science, medicine, entrepreneurship and the arts.
“Ideas are the currency of our future!” said Sonia Rhodes. “When we expose young people to the big thinkers of our time – and engage them in meaningful conversation – you never know what might happen. The possibilities are unlimited!”
Half of the speakers were innovators and change-makers under the age of 25, including CCA’s very own Eric Chen, a senior who was recently recognized as the 2013 Google Science Fair Grand Prize Winner for his work combining computer models and biological assays to speed up drug discovery on new influenza medicine.
“I thought that the TEDxYouth@SanDiego event was truly inspiring–it’s rare that so may incredible people converge to share their stories with a group of high school students,” said Eric Chen. “It is very important that these young people hear these stories, which can inspire our next generation to do extraordinary things. As a speaker it was an honor to be part of the amazing event.”
In between sessions, students experienced more than a dozen hands-on experience salons. Members of the Malin Space Science Systems Mars Curiosity rover team featured a replica of the rover, and Life Technologies provided an exploration of genomics. There were also various human interaction experiences inspired by Soul Pancake including a Peer Assisted Listeners/Leaders (PALs) ball pit to promote student connectedness. The event also included a conversation couch, writing areas to share thoughts and ideas, meditation with Jeffrey Zlotnik, photo opportunities with Outside the Lens, and tai chi with Matt Wolf. More than 100 artists from Canyon Crest Academy including dancers, musicians and vocalists performed a piece created around the theme UNLIMITED.
“It’s a thrill to know that we’ve touched hearts and minds at TEDxYouth@SanDiego! When students tell you that this experience has changed them for the better – we know we’re on to something. Ideas have the power to change a life, a community and a planet – and these amazing young people are showing us what’s possible!” said Sonia.