Since 2018, when Haidian Kaiwen Academy
was authorized by TED,
it is within your reach.
A group of students from Kaiwen Academy get together,
with their love for the country and international perspectives,
due to their wish to express themselves and make the world hear their voices.
Within 8 to 15 minutes of direct contact,
let’s wait and see what would happen at TEDxKaiwenAcademy.
May 10th 2019, the Second TEDxKaiwenAcademy was successfully held at Haidian Kaiwen Academy, Beijing. Students from Kaiwen made independent choices on speech topics and stepped on this international stage. They gave their opinions on self-growth, interpersonal relationships and social issues as teenagers, making the world hear their voices.
Selection and Preparation
This activity was conduct in the manner of open registration and selection through interview. Students from the sixth to the eleventh grade can sign up as individuals or teams. The criteria of the interview stage were whether content of the speech conforms to the idea of TEDx, whether it is innovative enough and whether the students have outstanding expression skills in English and basic performance abilities on stage. After three rounds of interview, five teams of students won the opportunity to share their thoughts on stage.
For one month and a half, all of the five teams had gone through three rounds of training and had done three rehearsals. The training sessions were progressive, each of their emphasis on language training. Teachers assigned clear goals for the students, guiding them to listen to the stories and express themselves fluently. During the process, the students not only got familiar with the model of TED public speaking, but also had access to materials of various forms. All of them had expanded their horizons and enriched their knowledge; meanwhile, they had learned how to organize the logic and structure of oral expression in English.
On Stage: Make the World Hear You
Theme of the event was “The Pause Button”. Five teams chose to speak on “Genetic Modification”, “Life Choices”, “Emotion Management”, “Artificial Intelligence” and “Combat Against Global Hunger” respectively. From their own experiences, they talked about the setbacks they faced in the process of growing up, their attention to the prevailing global trends and their comprehension obtained through the exploration of topics of their interest.
Speakers were poised and graceful on stage, delivering their speeches with clarity and force. With decent manner, posture and body language, they organized their thoughts and created a forceful atmosphere, exhibiting the confidence of students from Kaiwen Academy. Their excellent ability to do public speaking might influence their development and career in the future. Let’s check out the splendid speeches of those five teams on stage!
The Consequences Of Molding Life
Seventh-grader Stella Yang talked about “Genetic Modification”. Introducing the topic with He Jiankui’s announcement about “gene-edited babies” on November 26th 2018, she probed into the issue of artificial life. Three cases were cited: Mediterranean Fever and the Black Death; paranoid personality and creative personality; and Einstein’s mass-energy equation E=mc2. With those references, Stella Yang proved, from different standpoints, that “inventions bring not only advantages, but also disadvantages”.
Brilliant viewpoint: “Good wishes may not always bring out good results. I want to remind you not to be arrogant to nature, as AL or artificial life may lead to the destruction of life.”
You Are On Your Own Journey
Emma Tang from the eleventh grade spoke on the topic of “Life Choices”. From her own experiences, she told the audience stories of two persons who had made impacts on her. One was the CEO of a catering enterprise and the other was the owner of a coffee shop. The original intention of the former was to record life with delicious food; while the latter managed to realize her dreams. Their enthusiasm for life and career influenced Emma Tang, keeping her remind of the original aspiration and living with concentrated attention.
Brilliant viewpoint: “Desire alone will not buy your dinner. For the café owner, she had to run the café for 6 years, so she could have enough income for herself. In this situation, her passion was greater than not having much income.”
Control Your Emotion
The topic of Bonnie Dong from the sixth grade was “Emotion Management”. Taking example of her losing control of temper at relative’s home, she stated the importance of emotion management. Former US President Abraham Lincoln was used as an example to share with audience how to let negative feelings out. At the end of the speech, she cited a famous saying of Pythagoras: “Anger begins with folly, and ends with repentance.”
Brilliant viewpoint: “I just hope everyone can control their emotion. Don’t let emotion destroy you. A sentence was said in the speech, and this sentence is for everyone: Anger begins with folly and ends with regret.”
Lucas Huang&Eric De
Our Future - Artificial Intelligence
Lucas Huang and Eric De from the eleventh grade talked about “Artificial Intelligence”. They viewed the issue dialectically. From the view point of the application of artificial intelligence in everyday life, they made in-depth interpretations both on the “threat of AI” and the “contribution of AI”. At last, they made the conclusion that “we should handle artificial intelligence properly and make it contribute to human civilization”.
Brilliant viewpoint: “Overall, artificial intelligence is a historical tide that we have no way to stop it. This tide will not drown us, but will push us to a higher peak of human civilization. The only thing we need to do and have to do is embracing the tide and merging with it.”
World Hunger - A Huge Problem But Everyone Can Help
The theme of eighth-grader Cecilia Yang was “Combat Against Global Hunger”. Based on detailed and accurate data, she made it clear that global hunger was closely related to everyone and introduced measures to tackle it. Meanwhile, she had launched the Zero Waste activity on campus, which raised people’s awareness on saving food in daily life and stopping wasting food at every meal.
Brilliant viewpoint: “If everyone is able to get enough food, people can really focus on the other relatively not-so-vital problems, like quality education, peace, justice, and equality. Only if the most vital problems are solved, we can keep moving.”
Raymond Mueller, music supervisor of Haidian Kaiwen Academy, composed the theme song “The Pause Button” specifically for the event. It is an experimental piece of electronic music inspired by Frankenstein. The intention was to invoke people’s reflection on life and individual emotions.
On the stage of TEDxKaiwenAcademy, students from Kaiwen Academy made active expressions, spread valuable thoughts, shared life enlightenments, exchanged what they have learned and experienced, made different ideas collide and inspirations sparkle. The speakers brought motivating and encouraging force to the teachers, students and parents on the spot, inducing them to pay close attention to and make exploration of the surroundings.
What the Teachers Say: Make You See the World
Scott Reid: Head of Secondary School
“Five teams of students made continuous improvement owing to their continuous efforts. They learned how to add amusement to the speech, share experience in the speech, establish connection with the audience and enhance interactivity with them. Our students attach great significance to themselves but also to the world, which should be greatly encouraged.”
Tracy Wang: Teacher in charge of the project
“This is the second TEDx at Kaiwen Academy. Two teams had competed in the preliminary contest last year, from which we had seen their growth. The students had increased their awareness on the world, themselves and life around them and linked their stories with the audience and the reality, providing the audience with more enlightenment and help.”
Elle Zhao: Teacher in charge of the project
“The original intention of the school to host TEDxKaiwenAcademy was to offer students an opportunity to share meaningful ideas, present themselves and give back to the community, at the same time practice their spoken English. This year, more students from junior high took part in the activity and the variety of topics discussed during the event had increased. In line with the goal of TED, which is to spread meaningful ideas, we hope that every student of Kaiwen may obtain new thoughts from TEDxKaiwenAcademy.”
TED started in 1984. Since then, outstanding minds of technology, design, literature, music and other areas convene every March in North America to share their thoughts and explorations on technology, society and mankind.
With the original intention to spread valuable ideas, TED launched its global project TEDx in 2009. TEDxKaiwenAcademy was authorized in 2018, which aims to encourage students from Kaiwen to express themselves, demonstrate their academic capabilities, expand their fields of interest, deliver the Chinese voice, share creativity, assemble leaders and connect curious souls.
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